Under Utah law, public intoxication often involves an allegation that a person unreasonably disturbed other people while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to a degree that endangered others.
Utah law provides that “[a] person is guilty of intoxication if the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any substance having the property of releasing toxic vapors, to a degree that the person may endanger the person or another, in a public place or in a private place where the person unreasonably disturbs other persons.” Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-701(1).
If you were charged with the crime of public intoxication under Utah Code § 76-9-701, then find out more about the best way to fight the criminal accusation. Public intoxication is charged as a class C misdemeanor under Utah law. For a person under the age of 21, the charge of "public intoxication" can lead to a driver's license suspension.
If you were charged with public intoxication in Salt Lake City, Utah, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case.
We represent adults and young people under the age of 21 for this offense. Many of our clients are young people who also face charges for being a minor in possession of alcohol or other alcohol abuse charges.
Whether you are an adult, juvenile, or young adult under 21 years old, we can help you understand the criminal offense of being intoxicated in public, the possible penalties, and important defenses to fight the charges. Call (801) 532-5297 today to discuss your case.
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Before a person can be convicted of public intoxication at trial, the elements of public intoxication must be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements include:
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The physical manifestations of alcoholic consumption, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and a smell of alcohol on the breath are not sufficient to constitute public intoxication. Being intoxicated in public does not establish all the elements of the offense of public intoxication. Rather, the prosecution must demonstrate proof of that the defendant posed a potential danger either to himself or herself or to others.
To prove that the defendant may have endangered himself or herself or another, the prosecution must prove to you, beyond a reasonable doubt, that there was a reasonable likelihood of endangerment or harm based on the particular circumstances. If the evidence shows only a speculative possibility of harm, then the defendant is not guilty of Public Intoxication.
Furthermore, in order for the endangerment requirement to have any meaning, there must be a reasonable likelihood of endangerment based on the particular circumstances, rather than a speculative possibility of endangerment.
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In Utah, if an adult is convicted of the crime of "public intoxication," the crime is classified as a class C misdemeanor. If a minor is found by a court to have violated this section and the violation is the minor's first violation of this section, the court may:
For a second or subsequent offense of public intoxication, a minor is subject to the following minimum mandatory statutory penalties:
For a young person who is at at least 18 years old, but younger than 21 years old, a conviction for public intoxication comes with a driver’s license suspension under Section 53-3-219. Section 53-3-219, for the suspension of a minor’s driving privileges, provides:
Upon receipt of the first order suspending a person's driving privileges, the division shall reduce the suspension period if ordered by the court. For a second or subsequent order suspending a person's driving privileges, the division shall:
Upon receipt of the second or subsequent order suspending a person's driving privileges, the division shall reduce the suspension period if ordered by the court. For a first offense, the suspension can be reduced or shorted by the court if:
For a second or subsequent offense, the suspension can be reduced or shorted by the court if:
When a person who is at least 13 years old, but younger than 18 years old, is found by a court to have committed the offense of public intoxication, the provisions regarding suspension of the driver's license under Section 78A-6-606 apply to the violation.
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If you were charged with being intoxicated in public under Utah Code § 76-9-701, then contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah, at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP. We represent clients for crimes related to alcohol and drug abuse crimes throughout Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and the surrounding areas.
We can help you fight this class C misdemeanor so that you can avoid a criminal record and the collateral consequences that go along with it.
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