Recently, the crime of public intoxication, otherwise known as drunk in public, has garnered significant media attention with the report that rock star Christina Aguilera was arrested and jailed in Los Angeles for the offense. Many do not understand the definition of public intoxication or PC647f, so here is a primer on the law in the area.
The crime of public intoxication necessitates that the District Attorney prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was so inebriated so as to no longer be able to care for the safety of himself or be a danger to the those around him. The offense is set forth in the California Penal Code section 647(f). In many cases, an attorney can go to Court for the client and negotiate a variety of resolutions to a case, Public intoxication can also be dismissed completely using various defenses that have proven successful, a local lawyer should be contacted for a consultation.
As part of a public intoxication or drunk in public arrest, the police will sometimes give very basic field sobriety tests to substantiate their conclusion that the person arrested was in fact intoxicated. According to one Torrance Public Intoxication Attorney, however, objective symptoms of intoxication alone is insufficient to support a conviction for PC647f. Interestingly, a person can be arrested for drunk in public when they are a passenger in a car, just as Ms. Aguilera was in LA. What is often missing from the investigation is any objective chemical test evidence such as blood tests, urine tests or breath alcohol test. The lack of indicia of some objective standardized corroboration of the officer’s opinion can be seized upon by an experienced litigator to secure a dismissal or other favorable disposition to a drunk in public allegation.