In Kentucky it is a crime to be intoxicated in a public place.  If you are intoxicated in a public place to the extent that you annoy or endanger those around you then you can be charged with alcohol intoxication or public intoxication.

What’s the Difference between Alcohol Intoxication and Public Intoxication?

You can be charged Alcohol intoxication, as its name would suggest, when you are manifestly under the influence of Alcohol in a public place in Kentucky.  You can be charged with Public Intoxication if you are in public and manifestly intoxicated by a substance other than alcohol or another substance mixed with alcohol.

What can you do?

You can make any of a variety of arguments.

You can argue that you were not intoxicated. You may argue that you were not intoxicated at the time of the arrest. But this defense can be hard to prove to a judge or jury unless the defendant has concrete evidence (such as a blood alcohol test) showing that he was not intoxicated.

You can argue that you were not in a public place. Proving that the arrest was not made in a public place, or that you were involuntarily in a public place at the time of arrest could help your chances in front of a judge or jury. For example, a defendant may not be ordered out of his home by a law enforcement officer and onto the sidewalk, and then arrested for public intoxication.

Or you can argue that you did not annoy or endanger anyone.  A defendant may also introduce evidence to show that he was not engaging in disorderly conduct. For example, witnesses may be called to show that the defendant was not bothering anyone or anything.

While anyone one of these arguments or others might aid you, sometimes it is important to recognize the strength of the case against you. If the case is strong then it could be time to move on to the mitigation of possible penalties.

Get Help.

If you are unsure about the charges against you, if you need help navigating the legal system with a public intoxication charge, or if you have any questions whatsoever regarding your criminal case, call Hoffman Walker & Smith.  Put our knowledge and experience to use in your case, and we will help you achieve the best resolution possible in your case.


p. (859) 371-2227

7348 US 42, Suite 202, Florence, KY 41042

Hoffman Walker & Smith is located in Florence, KY and serves clients in and around Erlanger, Florence, Ft Mitchell, Burlington, Union, Hebron, Independence, Walton, Covington, Kenton, Latonia, Petersburg, Newport, Morning View, Verona, Fort Thomas, Bellevue, Silver Grove, Dayton, Boone County, Campbell County, Gallatin County, Grant County, Kenton County and Pendleton County.

The information and materials on this Web site are provided for general informational purposes only, and are not intended to be legal advice. We attempt to provide quality information, but the law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance. An attorney and client relationship should not be implied. Nothing on this Web site is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney; therefore, if you require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.