Many people have been drunk in public at some point in their lives. Perhaps you were watching the big game at a pub in Boulder and had one too many beers. Perhaps you were out on the town celebrating at your best friend’s bachelorette party. Perhaps you were toasting your anniversary or birthday with friends and family members. As long as you don’t drive home drunk and have a sober driver, being drunk in public isn’t a crime – or is it?
Actually, It depends. Colorado doesn’t have a public intoxication law like some states do. In fact, Colorado doesn’t even allow local municipalities to pass laws that penalize public intoxication. Instead, resources are dedicated to training law enforcement, so they can provide assistance to intoxicated individuals. Unlike other states, Colorado views public intoxication as a public health issue and not a crime.
However, this doesn’t prevent you from being arrested if you’re drunk. If you commit a crime while you are intoxicated, then you can still be arrested and charged with that crime. For example, if you are approached by law enforcement officers while you are drunk and they find illegal drugs in your pocket, you can still be charged with drug possession. If you are simply drunk, however, they will transport you to a treatment center before bringing you home or calling a friend or family member to come escort you home.
Being Arrested for Being Drunk in Public
While you can’t be arrested simply for being drunk in public, you can be arrested for disorderly conduct, harassment, or being a public nuisance. In Colorado, disorderly conduct occurs when someone makes a coarse or offensive comment in public or unreasonable noise near a private residence. So shouting ethnic slurs or curse words while stumbling home drunk could get you arrested for disorderly conduct.
Being involved in a bar fight can also get you arrested and you could face charges that range from disorderly conduct to assault and battery. Threatening to beat someone up or threatening someone with a weapon is also a crime and will be prosecuted as such.
Sexually harassing another person while drunk is also a criminal act. If you make unwanted sexual advances or grope another individual without their consent, you could face serious penalties and consequences that could include felony sexual assault charges.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
As you can see, being drunk in public could result in significant time behind bars if you make inappropriate and illegal decisions. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.