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Friday, February 8, 2013

Public Intoxication Charges

Myrtle Beach is among America’s top vacation spots. Many people vacation to Myrtle Beach to see the beach and let loose a little bit. For vacationers, it’s a place where you can let your hair down and not have to worry about people you know seeing your wild side. It’s not just vacationers that carry the laid back, free spirit attitude but the locals as well. How could you blame someone for embracing their wild side when there are just so many fun things to do in Myrtle Beach, from numerous putt putt golf courses, to the Broadway at the Beach attractions, to the nightlife, to all of the local seafood restaurants? It seems natural that you could get carried away in such a place. But, Myrtle Beach, like all other places, has laws in place to ensure you don’t get carried away or if you do, that you suffer the legal consequences of such behavior.
Official seal of City of Myrtle Beach
Official seal of City of Myrtle Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the things that police officers look for is public drunkenness, especially in this town. This offense is quite common in Myrtle Beach since so many of the attractions are outside like the bars and stores at Broadway at the Beach or the strip at the beach that features many hotels, stores, and bars. It is not uncommon to take a ride by either of these locations and see numerous people walking around sight seeing. Amongst the crowds, you might see some people stumbling along, and perhaps singing or talking loudly in their state of drunkenness.

What you may not know is that public drunkenness is a criminal offense. It carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and fines of up to $500.00. The statute does not require that the language be of a type, which tends to provoke a violent response or threaten a breach of the peace. The language only needs to be noisy, scandalous or abusive so as to disturb or annoy any other person in the area. Basically, the elements of the crime include: you appear or seem to be, intoxicated or drunk, and you are in public. The purpose of public intoxication laws is to remove an intoxicated person who is disturbing others and to prevent the intoxicated person from hurting himself or others.

Prior to reading this blog entry, you might have thought your drunkenness could only get you in trouble if you were caught driving drunk. But, chances are, if you leave a bar, appearing tipsy, talking loudly, or behaving in a lewd manner, local law enforcement will stop you on public intoxication charges. There are legal defenses that could save you from the criminal charges of public intoxication. Attorney Daniel Selwa is familiar with public intoxication defenses. Your conduct might not have met the elements of the crime of public drunkenness and attorney Daniel Selwa can help you determine that. Whether you are a vacationer or a local, contact the people’s choice, Daniel Selwa.

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