Public intoxication is actually not illegal in Illinois. Previously, local ordinances tried to make being drunk in public illegal but state law prohibits this. The law is used as a way to promote substance abuse treatment instead of punishment. The law specifically states, “No county, municipality or political subdivision may adopt or enforce any law that includes being intoxicated as the sole basis of the offense.” This applies to anyone of legal drinking age (21 years old). However, where law enforcement takes advantage is when an intoxicated person does something else like driving or jaywalking. There is also a law that prevents you from consuming alcohol in public or having an open container. Basically, you can get drunk in private or at a bar and walk around drunk and if you commit no other crimes you will be fine. Since Chicago law is so complex and the slightest mishap can result in jail time, it is important to contact a Chicago public intoxication attorney to discuss your circumstances and legal options.
Intoxicated parties must stay on the sidewalk and not walk into the street or road. If you are drunk, you cannot have a driver with a learner’s permit drive you home. You also cannot operate a boat or snowmobile or conduct maintenance on an aircraft. Police officers will pay more attention to intoxicated parties in the streets and will just be waiting for you to do the wrong thing so they can arrest you. There are a few things that can get you arrested while intoxicated in Chicago like disorderly conduct, assault, drunk driving and underage drinking.
Disorderly conduct is when you act in a way that alarms or disturbs others and disturbs the general peace. These charges can be either felonies or misdemeanors with penalties of up to a $10,000 fine, community service and even incarceration. Assault is a misdemeanor and results in $1,500 fine, community service or 30 days in jail. DUIs are serious offenses that can bring a world of headaches. This can result in six months in jail, driver’s license suspension and $1,000 fines. Having an open container while driving is considered a petty crime and the highest penalty is losing your license for a period of time. Public indecency, exposing your private parts to the public, can result in jail time and a $2,500 fine.
Being caught up with criminal charges can seem scary especially when you were intoxicated. The law can be confusing and by not knowing the law you can easily get into a situation that you may not be able to get out of. Our Chicago public intoxication attorneys have the knowledge and experience to place you in the best position to succeed. We know what it takes to build a credible and solid defense. Contact our office today for a case evaluation.