Being drunk in public on a Saturday night doesn’t sound like much of a crime. But unruly and disruptive behaviors often accompany intoxication, whether from alcohol or other drugs. All jurisdictions, including Oklahoma, have laws on the books prohibiting public intoxication.
Intoxication is linked with vandalism, domestic abuse, with assault and battery, and other crimes, making the crime one of genuine concern in communities.
And in Oklahoma, public intoxication can land you in jail.
Oklahoma Law Regarding Public Intoxication
Oklahoma law prohibits the consumption of any alcoholic beverage except at a licensed establishment. Okla. Stat. tit. 37A § 6-101
In addition, Oklahoma laws make it a misdemeanor to consume alcohol in any vehicle, coach, streetcar, or near a platform, or depot related to a mode of public transport, or on any public street and disturb the peace. It is a misdemeanor to be intoxicated in public by any cause. Okla. Stat. tit. 37A § 6-101
The crime is punishable by a fine from $10 to $100, or by jail from five to 30 days — or both.
If a situation warrants it and if you consent, you can be taken into protective custody to your own home or to another facility, including a treatment facility. This allows an intoxicated person time and a safe place to “sleep it off.” This is not an arrest, but it is important to know that if there is no facility available, or if you do not consent, you could be arrested. Okla. Stat. tit. 43A § 3-428
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. 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. Okla. Stat. tit. 43A § 3-428
While the alcohol laws in Oklahoma have been loosened recently, the laws regarding public intoxication remain.
If you or a loved one are facing intoxication charges, there is help out there for you. An experienced Okmulgee criminal defense attorney can help.
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