Many people ask about blood alcohol content when they are charged with Pubic Intoxication. Namely, they wonder why they were not offered a breathalyzer before or after their arrest for PI. Some people question the fact that they were on prescriptionmedication at the time of the arrest and were not offered a blood test to show that their medication was within therapeutic levels. Many wonder if the absence of a blood or breath test can give them a “get out of jail free” pass. The answer is “NO”.
Public Intoxication in Kentucky does not address the specific amount of alcohol or drugs in your bloodstream as a charge of DUI would. For this reason blood and breath tests are generally not offered. Rather, Public Intoxication arises out of the behavior of the person who is suspected to be under the influence of an intoxicating substance such as alcohol or narcotic drugs. To convict someone of Public Intoxication a prosecutor must prove that the person appeared to be intoxicated and that the aggravating behavior happened in a public place, the suspect was endangering himself or others or was unreasonably annoying to other persons in the area. To see the entire statute (KRS 525.100) refer to “The Law” tab on the home page.
Public Intoxication is a Class B misdemeanor carrying not more than 90 days in jail and/or a $250 fine.
When you find yourself facing a public intoxication charge you may ask yourself the question, “do I need an attorney?” The answer is YES! You need an attorney any time you are faced with a criminal charge.
The legal system in complicated. An experienced criminal defense attorney will serve as your guide through the legal jungle you have just entered. Your attorney will make sure you understand the charges against you. He or she will advise you of any defenses you may have in your individual case for your individual circumstances. If you decide that you do not want to face a jury trial, your attorney will go to bat for you to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. If you do want to go to trial, your attorney will help you decide whether or not you should testify and what defense you should present to the jury.
When faced with the possibility of jail time and/or fines, it is always important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side!
If you have been charged with “Public Intoxication”, better known as PI or AI, you know your night of fun has now turned to horror. Many times those charged with public intoxication are generally minding their own business. Perhaps leaving a bar or friends home, a little on the jolly side and doing the “responsible thing” by walking home. The problem is, the walking home was more like wobbling home and you may have sang one or two off key songs on the way, which, in and of itself is not a crime, but mixed with alcohol or drugs can land you in jail, at least for the night, maybe longer. Perhaps you just couldn’t make it to the bathroom and so your car seemed to be the obvious choice to hide behind in order to heed natures call to empty your bladder. At the time it seemed like a good idea. Whatever the circumstances, you are now facing criminal charges in court. You may look back on this day in a few years and laugh, but at the moment, there is nothing funny about it. What do you do?
It is important to understand what you are facing in order to make an informed decision about what to do. KRS 525.100 address the issues of the crime of Public Intoxication. Many people mistakenly believe that Public Intoxication is an offense dealing solely with alcohol. That is not true. If you are in a public place and you are obviously under the influence of any substance, including prescription or illegal drugs and/or alcohol you can be arrested for Public Intoxication. If you have a prescription for medication from your doctor, you can still be arrested, but the charges may be dropped if your blood results indicate that you are using the drug in a “therapeutic” manner or in other words, as the doctor prescribed them to you. Yes that is right, you can have a prescription for a drug and if you take more than your doctor recommends, you can still be found guilty of Public Intoxication. Furthermore, you do not have to damage anything to be charged with a PI. If you “unreasonably annoy” people around you, you can be charged with PI.
Public Intoxication is a class B misdemeanor which carriers up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $250.00. Not only that, if convicted, it will show up on your criminal record. It is important to seek advice from a lawyer who can help you understand the crime of Public Intoxication and defend you against your Public Intoxication charges.