Many people like to go to the bar once in a while and have a few alcoholic drinks. However, you need to be careful because being drunk in public can be a crime. You could be cited for public intoxication.
In Texas, public intoxication is a crime defined as a person being in a public place while their normal physical or mental faculties are altered by alcohol/and or drugs. Their intoxication must have made them a danger to themselves or someone else.
In Texas, a public place is defined as any place where members of the public have access. This may include bars as well as public streets and parking lots. You can even be charged with public Intoxication as a passenger in a vehicle or while sitting on your front porch.
If you are arrested for public intoxication, will you be arrested and jailed? Many people are concerned about how long they’ll be in jail. Here’s what you need to know.
Penalties for Public Intoxication in Austin
Texas law does not require a person to be arrested for public intoxication. They can be cited and released. More than likely, they will not be put in jail either. Cities like Austin offer sobering centers, so to free up resources, the police may issue a citation and transport the person to a sobering center.
A sobering center is a cheaper alternative to jail, which is why police will often use them. It serves as a short-term care facility for those who have been accused of public intoxication. If the person is deemed nonviolent, they can stay in the sobering center until the effects of alcohol or drugs wear off. Once they are sober and are no longer a danger to themselves or others, they can leave after passing a Breathalyzer test.
Sobering centers typically operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The typical lengths of stay range from four to 24 hours.
So, in most cases of public intoxication, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500. You will likely not be jailed; instead, you will probably be held in a sobering center until you are sober and no longer a danger to yourself or others.
Contact Our Austin TX Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
A public intoxication charge is only a misdemeanor, but it should not be taken lightly. You should still understand all that is involved, including possible penalties.
The Austin criminal defense lawyers from Granger and Mueller PC can guide you through the process and provide you with a solid defense, whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. We will help protect your future and your reputation. Schedule a consultation with our office today by calling (512) 474-9999 or filling out the online form.