Sec 647 (f) of the California Penal Code criminalizes the act of being “drunk in public” or public intoxication. This is also named as “drunk and disorderly” or “DIP”. This criminal act primarily covers the following possibilities:

a) The level of intoxication of the individual makes them unable to exercise care for their personal safety or for the safety of others;
b) The level of intoxication interferes, prevents or obstructs others from proper use of streets, sidewalks and thoroughfares;

When convicted, a public intoxication charge merits probation, payment of fines or in some cases imprisonment. The following are the elements of this particular crime:

1) The accused was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
2) During the time of being under the influence, the individual was in a public place;
3) The accused was unable to exercise care for their personal and other’s safety;
4) The accused interfered with or prevented the free use of public ways such as sidewalks and streets;

This crime is often related to other criminal offenses. These include Sec 23152 of the California Penal Code or driving under the influence, Sec 11550 of the California Health and Safety Code or using and/or being under the influence of drugs and Sec 415 of the California Penal Code or disturbing the peace.

The crime of public intoxication is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.