Disorderly Intoxication

As Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys, we often represent individuals facing charges of disorderly intoxication, as defined in s. 856.011 of the Florida State Statutes

856.011 Disorderly intoxication.--

(1) No person in the state shall be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or property, and no person in the state shall be intoxicated or drink any alcoholic beverage in a public place or in or upon any public conveyance and cause a public disturbance.

(2) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(3) Any person who shall have been convicted or have forfeited collateral under the provisions of subsection (1) three times in the preceding 12 months shall be deemed a habitual offender and may be committed by the court to an appropriate treatment resource for a period of not more than 60 days. Any peace officer, in lieu of incarcerating an intoxicated person for violation of subsection (1), may take or send the intoxicated person to her or his home or to a public or private health facility, and the law enforcement officer may take reasonable measures to ascertain the commercial transportation used for such purposes is paid for by such person in advance. Any law enforcement officers so acting shall be considered as carrying out their official duty.

What does this mean for you? How do you define “disorderly?” The subsection, for example, states that you shall not be intoxicated and endanger the safety of others—but what is the definition of endangering the safety of others? Additionally, the subsection states that you shall not be intoxicated and cause a disturbance on or upon a public place, but who decides what is and what is not a disturbance?

Can you be arrested for disorderly intoxication if you have a couple of glasses of wine at dinner and, on your walk home, accidentally bump into somebody? The answer is “yes.” People bump into each other all the time, but when you do it while you are technically intoxicated (either by way of BAL showing intoxication or a demonstrated impairment of your normal faculties), whether or not your “intoxicated” state had anything to do with your bumping into somebody else, you could actually be charged with and convicted of a crime.

Unfortunately, as our criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know, many of our state’s laws leave a great deal open to interpretation. It is because of this that our experience as former prosecutors is especially valuable. Having prosecuted cases just like this, we know how the local courts and local judges view various circumstances in these cases; we know how these cases are prosecuted and, as such, we know how to defend them.

We’ve represented thousands of cases just like yours and we know how to defend you. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with disorderly intoxicated in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, contact us to schedule a free consultation. You can reach us by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).

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