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Walking Drunk: Can You Get a DUI Charge for It?


Is walking drunk a charge you can get? DUI defense attorneys know that intoxicated persons react in different ways. For example, when some people are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they know they shouldn’t drive. Therefore, such intoxicated persons often hail a cab to take them home. However, others just decide to walk home or spend a few minutes walking off the intoxication.

Usually, they believe they won’t have issues with law enforcement for merely walking drunk. But, unfortunately, Boise residents may face a criminal charge if they’re caught walking drunk in public. If the police ever arrest you on a public intoxication charge, it’ll be best to hire a DUI defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can help ensure the arrest doesn’t damage your life prospects.

What Is Idaho’s Public Intoxication Law?

Firstly, it’s noteworthy that DUIs aren’t America’s only alcohol-related crimes. Instead, many American states, including Idaho, have laws against public intoxication, including walking drunk. It’s a crime in Idaho for pedestrians to walk around under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The police can arrest and charge such a pedestrian if walking around intoxicated makes them a hazard to themselves and the public. Notably, though, this law only applies to drunk pedestrians on Idaho highways. This is because the law mandates that intoxicated persons must use the sidewalks.

What Is the Public Intoxication Law in Boise?

Boise drinkers have another law to grapple with. The City Code also makes the public appearance of any intoxicated person an offense. However, the person must be intoxicated at such a level that presents a danger. Conversely, the intoxication may only create a disturbance of the peace.

This Boise law makes public intoxication a misdemeanor. In addition, it doesn’t restrict drunk pedestrians to the sidewalk. Instead, the ordinary appearance of the drunken party in any public place is sufficient for a public intoxication charge.

What Does “in Public” Mean?

Idaho and Boise’s public intoxication laws prohibit pedestrians from walking drunk in public. So under Idaho’s general rule, drunk pedestrians can keep to the sidewalks. In Boise, though, you shouldn’t be seen anywhere that’s accessible to the public. It’s thus crucial to know where the law regards the public.

These places could include:

  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Malls
  • Parks
  • Public streets
  • Public sports centers
  • Sidewalks and highways
  • Parking lots and driveways
  • Areas in front of apartments and other buildings

Places the general public doesn’t frequent may also fall under this category. These would include:

  • Cinemas
  • Movie theaters
  • Spas
  • Massage parlors

What Is the Punishment for Public Intoxication in Boise, Idaho?

Public intoxication is indeed a less severe crime than a DUI. However, if the court convicts you, you’ll still face significantly stiff penalties. For example, you’ll be looking at a minimum of 6 months jail term. You may also have to pay a $1,000 fine. These punishments are obtainable for those convicted under the Boise City Code. Unfortunately, your woes don’t end here.

Instead, a public intoxication conviction will leave you with a criminal record. This means that prospective employers and other business associates can see the conviction when running a background check. Therefore, you can lose lucrative employment and business opportunities. It’s thus best to avoid a conviction in the first place.

Are There Defenses to a Public Intoxication Charge?

Yes, there are defenses for practically all criminal offenses. So, an excellent lawyer can choose from multiple defenses to save you from a public intoxication charge. For example, your lawyer can argue that you weren’t intoxicated enough to constitute a danger or hazard to the public.

Similarly, your attorney can also show that you didn’t disturb the peace under the Boise City Code. Furthermore, you can get off a public intoxication charge by showing that you were on private property at the time of the arrest. For example, the arresting officer may have erroneously picked you up from a private area.

Police officers also don’t always follow the appropriate legal procedures during many arrests. If this happens in your case, an attorney can get you off because of the faulty arrest. Finally, public intoxication may also involve multiple people. So, you’ll be free if the police arrest the wrong person.

Let the Best DUI Lawyers Help You!

Have the police arrested you for public intoxication or a DUI? Whatever the case, you can still escape a conviction or harsh sentences. However, you’ll need the best DUI defense lawyers. Our attorneys have spent several combined decades helping DUI arrestees avoid terrible consequences. We’ve also recorded significant wins. So, we’re confident that we can guarantee excellent results in your case. Therefore, it’ll be best to call us today for a FREE consultation.