Disorderly Intoxication Florida
Florida Statute 856.011 states:
- 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.
- Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
- 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.
Disorderly Intoxication Definition
There are two ways for the State to prove Disorderly Intoxication. The State must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The Defendant was intoxicated AND endangered the safety of another person or property, or;
- The Defendant was intoxicated or drank any alcoholic beverage in a public place or upon a public conveyance AND the defendant caused a public disturbance.
What is Intoxication?
“Intoxication” means more than merely being under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. Intoxication is synonymous with “drunk.”
The defendant’s statement that he or she drank alcohol is not enough to prove intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt, although the jury may consider the statement along with any other additional evidence.
What is a public place?
A “public place” is a place where the public has a right to be and to go.
Penalties for Disorderly Intoxication
Disorderly Intoxication is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail, or 6 months of probation with a $500 fine. Prosecutors typically require those sentenced to probation to attend substance abuse classes.
Defenses to Disorderly Intoxication
There are many defenses to the crime of Disorderly Intoxication. No one should enter a plea to disorderly intoxication without consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. Defenses include, but are not limited to:
- The State can’t prove the Defendant was intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The State can’t prove the Defendant endangered the safety of a person or property beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The State can’t prove the Defendant was in a public place.
- The State can’t prove the Defendant caused a public disturbance beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additionally, First Amendment challenges may exist when the defendant’s conduct is entirely verbal and is protected speech (not “fighting words”).
If you have been arrested or charged with Disorderly Intoxication in Palm Beach County, Broward County or Martin County, contact a Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Bottari & Doyle at (561)-588-2781 for a free consultation.