Roanoke Criminal Defense Attorney Defends Those Charged with Being Drunk in Public

Virginia law prohibits the consumption of alcohol in public, and behaving or appearing as though intoxicated in public places. Many alcohol related crimes in Virginia focus on the fact that the offense was committed in a public place. The alcohol offenses in Virginia that involve being drunk in public include:

  • Drinking in Public – It is a misdemeanor crime in Virginia to drink alcohol in public or to offer a drink to another person even if that person refuses. A conviction for drinking in public is punishable by a fine of up to $250. Drinking or serving alcohol on public school grounds carries a more severe penalty of up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
  • Public Intoxication – A person who shows signs of intoxication as a result of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants in a public place can be charged with a minor misdemeanor in Virginia. The penalty for this offense is a fine of up to $250.

Defenses to public intoxication include proving that the person was not intoxicated or that the location does not meet the definition of "public" under Virginia law, which defines it as a place that is "in open view, visible to the community," and could include a defendant's private property. If you are charged drinking in public or public intoxication in Virginia, call Robert F. Rider, a Roanoke attorney who has been successfully defending individuals charged with alcohol violations for over three decades. For aggressive representation, contact our firm online or call 540-685-0075 to schedule your free initial consultation today.