Public drunkenness describes the appearance of intoxication in a public place. If you appear in public with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, you may be charged with public drunkenness. If you have been charged with this crime, Georgia criminal defense attorney David Schnipper can help. Attorney Schnipper has the knowledge and experience required to aggressively fight criminal charges and preserve your liberty.
Georgia Public Drunkenness Laws
Georgia criminal law treats public drunkenness as an offense against public order and safety. The appearance of intoxication can threaten the peace and sometimes endanger others. Regardless of age, any person may be charged with public drunkenness if he or she meets certain criteria:
Appearing intoxicated means appearing with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit. In Georgia, this means a BAC of .08 percent or more. Sometimes, the combination of drugs and alcohol can diminish a person’s inhibitions and self-awareness, leading to unseemly behavior in public.
Public places include local streets, parks, schools, and other open areas susceptible to “disturbance.” Public drunkenness specifically targets any threats to peace, order, or safety.
Private residence describes the private property of another person, not the alleged criminal’s own home. Private residences are not limited to the actual dwelling, but include adjacent or surrounding areas, such as carports, driveways, courtyards, and curbs.
Uninvited presence means appearance in another’s private residence without the consent of the owner or lawful occupant.
Conditions or signs of public drunkenness may include any characteristic of intoxication, such as a BAC of .08 percent or more, creation of a public disturbance, and other behavior tending to show a threat to self or danger to others.
Boisterousness describes any rough or violent conduct lacking in restraint or discipline.
Indecent act or condition can include tagging, urinating, or making lewd gestures. Exposure of the genital area and public nudity would qualify as “indecent.”
Vulgar and profane terms are generally those censored on radio, public broadcasts, and some writing. Vociferous language, obscenities, and fighting words may be considered profane.
Loud sounds create a din or clamor or accompany rowdy behavior. They include any noisy singing, laughter, and conversations borne of public intoxication.
Unbecoming language is a “catchall” phrase used to describe any manner of speaking that is not attractive, flattering, or appropriate to undefined standards of a person’s position or community.
Public Drunkenness Penalties
Punishment may vary from a warning or citation to jail time. Police can escort you home or to the station, where you can “sober up” in a cell. In Georgia, local counties and municipalities may have their own rules penalizing disorderly conduct. Offenders are often required to pay a fine, do community service, attend an alcohol awareness workshop, and provide compensation for any property damage or bodily injury.
Defeating Public Drunkenness Charges
Public drunkenness may make a funny story, but is no laughing matter. One charge often gives rise to others for DUI, trespassing, or other more serious allegations. Effective legal representation is crucial to successfully defeating a public drunkenness charge. As a former prosecutor, Georgia criminal defense lawyer David Schnipper knows the importance of fighting allegations early and preventing charges from piling up on your criminal record. He is dedicated to using this experience to build a strong defense and to fight vigorously for your freedom. Call 404-983-6051 for a free consultation or contact us online.