What is a public intoxication charge?
PC 647f (Public Intoxication or Drunk in Public) states; every person who commits any of the following act(s) is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:
Any person who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug (legal or illegal), controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, a controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition, that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her safety or the safety of others, or because of his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or another public way.
Penalties for PC 647(f), Drunk in Public
If convicted of being drunk in public under PC 647f, you may face up to six (6) months in county jail and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000). The ramifications do not stop here. You will have picked up a misdemeanor criminal record which could hurt your chances of entering certain schools or obtaining certain jobs. Many will want to know if public intoxication will show up on a background check. You may also want to know if public intoxication will affect employment. The answer is very possible. Please call our office at (714) 321-9999 to help answer your questions more precisely!
What are the defenses to being drunk in public or public intoxication charge?
Defenses to Being Drunk in Public
- You were not in a public place, but rather a private place.
- There is not enough evidence that you were intoxicated as claimed by the law enforcement, and/or…
- Your rights were violated during the arrest while they were investigating the charge of drunk in public.
A public place is a location to which all of the public has access and is not a place exclusively used for a private gathering or any other personal purposes. Being drunk in public or public intoxication can pose dangers to one’s self and potentially others.
Under the Influence
Willfully under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a controlled substance.
Lack of Care/Interference
You were unable to exercise care for your own or others’ safety, OR
You were interfering with, obstructing, or preventing the free use of a street, sidewalk, or other public paths such as hiking trails or beaches.
Public intoxication or being drunk in public means you were unable to care for people as expected in the norm for that setting or you were interfering with the normal life activities of others in public. Attorney Wais Azami can assist you from our offices in Garden Grove and Seal Beach. We are ready to help defend your rights against such accusations or charges of being drunk in public.
What other crimes can I be charged for if I am drunk in public?
Disorderly Conduct, Penal Code § 647—This is a catch-all charge for misbehaving in public, especially if under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It can be for fighting, lewd acts, solicitation for prostitution, and much more.