It’s Not the Public Intoxication of Yesteryear

January 16, 2014

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Walking home peacefully from the bar after having a few too many is no longer against the law in Indiana. Prior to July 1, 2012, a person could be arrested for, and convicted of, public intoxication simply by being intoxicated in public or a place open to the public. Indiana Code 12-23-15-1 (ver. 2012). Today, it takes more than that.

Indiana law now requires that a person cause danger to their own life or someone else’s life; and at the very least, you must annoy someone else or create some type of disturbance. For example, walking into traffic while you are drunk is enough to be convicted of Public Intoxication, a Class B Misdemeanor. However, sitting on a public bench after you’ve been drinking is not enough.

When investigating these types of offenses, police officers still use the same indicators to determine whether someone is intoxicated as they always have. The officers will likely look for the odor of an alcoholic beverage on your breath or person, glassy and bloodshot red eyes, slurring of words, stumbling or trouble keeping your balance, etc. Sometimes, the officers inadvertently apply the old law when arresting or detaining individuals for Public Intoxication.

If you are arrested for Public Intoxication, it is important to consult a lawyer. The attorneys of Keffer Hirschauer LLP are all experienced at handling intoxication cases. If you have been charged with an intoxication offense do not hesitate to call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at 317-857-0160 to set up a free consultation.