Public Intoxication Laws in Utah

Public Intoxication Attorney

In Utah, the public intoxication law may confuse some people who are charged with this crime. The reason may be for this is because you can be charged with public intoxication in your own home. The reason you can be charged with public intoxication in your own home is if the police believe that you may be endangering yourself or someone else. First and foremost, I do not think the law should be written this way. To me, this means that you could get drunk in your own home and if there are other adults there (maybe a party?) then you can be charged with public intoxication because you “may” endanger someone else.

We represent individuals all over Utah who have been charged with Public Intoxication. Even though this is not a serious crime as by the charges it can still have a real effect on your life. It is important to keep the government honest when it comes to charges like this. These kind of charges are sometimes included in order to “drop” some charges to really get you to plead to something else. You need to be aware of this so that you can protect yourself.

Public Intoxication Case Law

Below, I have included some recent case law in Utah explaining the public intoxication laws.”

The statement below explains the words “may endanger” as part of the statute.

“The ‘may endanger’ element of the public intoxication standard requires proof of a reasonable likelihood of harm based on the circumstances, and a speculative possibility of harm is not sufficient, as the latter would effectively eviscerate the endangerment requirement in the public intoxication standard.” 197 P.3d 82, Supreme Court of Utah.

“The public intoxication statute establishes two different levels of intoxication, depending on whether the individual is in a private or public place; an individual is guilty of intoxication in a public place if he is under the influence of alcohol to a degree that he may endanger himself or another, and he is guilty of intoxication in a private place if he is under the influence of alcohol to a degree that he unreasonably disturbs other persons. U.C.A.1953, 76-9-701 (2002).” 197 P.3d 82, Supreme Court of Utah.

As you can see, there can be some argument as to whether someone is actually intoxicated as it pertains to the public intoxication laws in Utah. At Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys, we offer a free consultation. Give us a call today to either meet in Salt Lake City or in our Ogden office at (801) 475-0123.

1 comment… add one

  • Julie Cartwright April 14, 2015, 1:08 am

    I was recently arrested in my home (last Thursday) charged with public intoxication and booked into jail. I recently went to court on an impared driving and was on probation. My mother inlaw and I had an arguement (she lives in OR) and she called the police stating that she was worried for her grandsons safety. The police talked to my son and he said he was fine. Then my husband wasn’t home, but jumped on board with his mother and called the police back. This was only 30 minutes or so later and now the story changed. My question is, do I need to lawyer up and what are my chances of doing serious jail time? Obviously this has affected my life, the future life of my family being together. I do not have a job right now because I have been not well and trying to work on getting better. I went to a 45 day residential treatment program and got out 1/5/15. I have relapsed several times and my husband no longer wants to help me get the help.

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