shutterstock_172116212You and your friends go out to the bar and consume a few too many adult beverages. You know that it isn’t safe to drive home, but you don’t have money for a cab. You are considering walking home, but you have heard of public intoxication laws and you are worried that you will be arrested for walking. Here’s more information about these laws to help you make the best decision the next time around.

Appearing in a Public Place

Some states have laws that prohibit public intoxication in a public place. This may include a sidewalk, stadium or park. In some states, restaurants and bars are also included on the list of public places. Knowing what constitutes a public place is important in understanding these laws.

Under the Influence

To be considered intoxicated, you must be under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or a controlled substance. Public intoxication is not charged if the person is found to be under the influence of prescription medication. Most states do not require the proof of a chemical test when it comes to public intoxication. In many instances, an officer’s testimony is enough.

Disturbance or Harm

Contrary to what many people believe, you will not be charged with public intoxication for simply walking down the sidewalk. You must be posing a risk of danger or harm to yourself  or others. This means that you must be unable to walk steadily, are causing some type of disturbance with other people, or are threatening a physical altercation. These are just a few examples of what it means to be causing a disturbance. Like your level of intoxication, what constitutes a disturbance is subject to interpretation by law enforcement.

If you have been charged with public intoxication or another crime in Orlando, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting by your side. Call our office today for more information about our firm and to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your arrest and advise you of the options available to you under local and state law.