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What is “public intoxication” in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | Alcohol-related Charges

Everybody enjoys a good time now and then, but what happens when the good time gets out of hand and you end up charged with something like “disorderly intoxication,” (Maryland’s term for public intoxication)?

The law defines public intoxication as being in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that you create a disturbance or endanger yourself or others.

What does this mean in plain English?

A public intoxication charge can happen in a number of different ways. Here are a few examples:

  • Disturbance at a bar: Imagine you’re out at a bar and you have a few too many drinks. Something upsets you and you get increasingly agitated and aggressive about the situation and the bartender calls the police and says they feel threatened.
  • Incident at a concert: Suppose you’re at a concert and you mix alcohol with some party drugs and you get disoriented and start behaving erratically until people get alarmed and complain. The police have to restrain you for everyone’s safety.
  • Passed out in a park: Imagine you’ve been drinking in a public park and you eventually pass out. Even though you aren’t bothering anybody and couldn’t be disturbing or threatening anyone, your inability to care for yourself is an issue. 

While these are fairly obvious examples, you could end up being charged with disorderly intoxication for a lot less. 

While a public intoxication charge is a misdemeanor, that doesn’t mean that you can afford to treat the situation lightly. It may be time to discuss your defense options.