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Drunk in Public Charge

Penal Code 647(f)

Penalties for PC 647(f), Drunk in Public

Penalties for PC 647(f), Drunk in Public

PC 647f (Public Intoxication or Drunk in Public) says; every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:

Any person who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way. 

Penalties for PC 647(f), Drunk in Public

Penalties for PC 647(f), Drunk in Public

Penalties for PC 647(f), Drunk in Public

If convicted of being drunk in public under PC 647f, you may face up to six (6) months in county jail and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).  The ramifications don't stop here.  You will have picked up a misdemeanor criminal record which could hurt your chances of entering certain schools or obtaining certain jobs.  Many will want to know if public intoxication will show up on a background check.  You may also want to know if public intoxication will affect employment.  The answer is very possibly.  Please call our office to help answer your questions more precisely.   

Defenses to Being Drunk in Public

Penalties for PC 647(f), Drunk in Public

Defenses to Being Drunk in Public

1) You were not in a public place, but rather a private place. 

2) There is not enough evidence that you were intoxicated as claimed by the law enforcement, and/or

3) Your rights were violated during the arrest while they were investigating the charge of drunk in public. 

Public Place

Lack of Care/Interference

Defenses to Being Drunk in Public

A public place is a location to which all of the public has access and is not a place exclusively used for a private gathering or any other personal purposes. Being drunk in public or public intoxication can pose dangers to one's self and potentially others. 

Under the Influence

Lack of Care/Interference

Lack of Care/Interference

Under the influence means you were willfully under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a controlled substance.

Lack of Care/Interference

Lack of Care/Interference

Lack of Care/Interference

You were unable to exercise care for your own or others' safety, OR
You were interfering with, obstructing, or preventing the free use of a street, sidewalk, or other public path such as hiking trails or beaches. 


Basically, public intoxication or being drunk in public means you were unable to care for people as expected in the the norm for that setting or you were interfering with normal life activities of others in public.  Our offices in Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Seal Beach are ready help defend your rights agains such accusations or charges of being drunk in public.