We don’t think about the issue of public intoxication much when we go out on a Saturday night. But public intoxication in Oklahoma City is a crime, and it is prosecuted on a regular basis. Here is what you need to know about the crime and how it is handled in Oklahoma.
Public intoxication is linked to more than just noise at midnight on a Saturday night. It is often accompanied by patterns of unruly and disruptive behaviors such as vandalism, domestic abuse, assault and battery, and other crimes, making the crime one of genuine concern in communities.
And under Oklahoma City law, being intoxicated in public can land you in jail.
Public Intoxication in Oklahoma and the Law
Oklahoma has a number of laws regarding the consumption of alcohol. The law prohibits the consumption of any alcoholic beverage except at a licensed establishment. Okla. Stat. tit. 37A § 6-101
This means that all alcohol consumed in public must be done so at a business that carries a liquor license.
It is a misdemeanor in Oklahoma City to consume alcohol in any vehicle, coach, streetcar, or near a platform or depot related to a mode of public transport, or on any public street and in disturbance of the peace.
Finally, it is a misdemeanor to be intoxicated in public at any time and for any reason. That means that the party with your buddies that spills out onto the street, where you are kicking over trashcans and carrying on loudly at 1:00 a.m., will likely get all of you arrested for public intoxication.
The crime is punishable by a fine between $10 and $100, 5 to 30 days in jail, or both.
Protective Custody vs. Arrest
There is a protective custody option that will allow you to “sleep it off” instead of going to jail. You must consent and there must be a safe place for you to go. This could be your home, another facility, or even a treatment facility. This is not an arrest, but it is important to know that if there is no facility available or if you do not consent, you could be arrested. Okla. Stat. tit. 43A § 3-428
If you are intoxicated and unconscious or if you are a possible danger to others, the police can take you into protective custody until you either regain consciousness or are no longer a danger to others. If this protective custody exceeds 12 hours, then the police must either obtain your consent or file a petition for a civil commitment to detain you longer.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing charges or want to know more about your options, call us today. We are here to help.
For a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.
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