When Can I Be Drunk in Public in Austin, Texas?

In Austin, Texas, it's crucial to understand when and where you can be intoxicated in public without breaking the law. Read on to learn more about Texas law on being drunk in public, and what to do if you are facing charges.

Drunk in Public Laws

Texas Penal Code Section 49.02 hinges on two main aspects: your level of intoxication and the potential for endangerment. Intoxication doesn't just mean having consumed alcohol; it means being impaired to the extent that your physical or mental capabilities are significantly affected. This is typically assessed by your ability to walk, talk, drive, or perform other actions safely and effectively.

Where Can You Be Intoxicated?

A public place, according to Texas law, includes any area accessible to the public or a significant subset of the public. This includes streets, parks, bars, and the common areas of buildings such as lobbies or hallways. It's important to note that even premises licensed to serve alcohol, like bars and clubs, are considered public places. So, you can still be charged with public intoxication inside a bar if your behavior is deemed as potentially endangering.

Assessing Endangerment

The criterion for endangerment is subjective and determined by the responding officers' judgment. You may be considered a danger if your actions could potentially harm yourself, such as stumbling into a busy road, driving while intoxicated, or harming others, like initiating serious physical altercations.

Penalties for Public Intoxication

Being found guilty of public intoxication in Austin is classified as a Class C misdemeanor. This can result in up to a $500 fine but no jail time. However, the charge still appears on your criminal record and can affect your reputation and future interactions with law enforcement.

Implications for Residents and Visitors

For anyone living in or visiting Austin, it's important to manage your alcohol consumption, especially in public settings. Avoid situations where your behavior could be interpreted as endangering, and always plan for safe transportation if you expect to consume alcohol.

Contact an Austin Public Intoxication Lawyer From Our Firm!

If you're charged with public intoxication, it's wise to seek legal advice promptly. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges, explore your defense options, and represent you in court if necessary.

Facing public intoxication charges in Austin, Texas? If so, speak with Cofer & Connelly, PLLC. You can contact Cofer & Connelly, PLLC by calling (512) 991-0576 or contacting us online for a consultation with a criminal defense attorney. Our team is prepared to assist you in facing these charges and securing the best possible outcome for your situation.

Related Posts
  • Texas Furnishing Alcohol To A Minor Lawyer Read More
  • Texas Alcohol Awareness Program Read More
  • Possession Of Alcohol By A Minor Lawyer Read More