Every jurisdiction has laws protecting the public order. One such law is that prohibiting public intoxication in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Public intoxication can be the result of alcohol or other drugs or the mixing of the two.
Intoxication is often linked with vandalism, domestic abuse, assault and battery, and child abuse, making the crime a gateway to other crimes and a concern for most communities.
Public Intoxication: A Public Nuisance Problem
Oklahoma law prohibits the consumption of any alcoholic beverage except at a licensed establishment. You cannot drink in public and you cannot be intoxicated in public. Okla. Stat. tit. 37A § 6-101
That means that you cannot walk around with a beer can in a bag drinking. You cannot open a bottle of wine in a park.
Oklahoma laws also make it a misdemeanor to consume alcohol inside any car or other vehicle, or on any public street and to disturb the peace. It is a misdemeanor to be intoxicated in public from any cause.
The crime is punishable by a fine from $10 to $100, or by jail from 5 to 30 days, or both.
Protective Custody: An Alternative to Jail
More and more jurisdictions are using protective custody in this situation as an alternative to incarceration. 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. But there are requirements that must be met for protective custody.
You must consent and there must be a facility available. This is the old-fashioned idea of “sleeping it off” updated for the modern world.
This is not an arrest, but is only available if you consent and a facility is available. Otherwise, you will be arrested. Okla. Stat. tit. 43A § 3-428
If this protective custody exceeds 12 hours, then the police must either obtain your consent to further custody or file a petition for a civil commitment to detain you longer.
While the alcohol laws in Oklahoma have been loosened recently, the laws regarding public intoxication remain. Most of the time when this arrest occurs, the intoxication is blatant. When it is not, and if no breathalyzer or blood test is given, you may have a defense to the charge.
If you or a loved one are facing intoxication charges, there is help out there for you. An experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney can help. Your attorney can help you avoid jail and may be able to get the charge against you dismissed if the situation warrants it.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Criminal Law Defense Attorney
Wirth Law Office is here to help when you need it most. We offer a free consultation with an experienced Tulsa criminal law attorney to help you defend your legal rights.
Call 918-879-1681 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.