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Is Public Intoxication the New DUI? Find Out.

Taking an Uber or Lyft home after a night out is the responsible thing to do, but it won’t keep you from being arrested. You can’t get a DUI, but you may be charged with public intoxication.

Have you or a loved one been arrested? Or do you have a prior conviction? Contact us today
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Most people decide to be responsible and hire an Uber or Lyft if they plan on drinking. However, even if you use a ridesharing service, there is no guarantee that you won’t get arrested after going out on a Friday or Saturday night.

Why? You can still get charged with public intoxication, which is a violation of penal code 647-F. Even if the cops cannot arrest you for a DUI behind the wheel, they can arrest you if they pull over your driver and notice that you are intoxicated in the back seat of the vehicle.

Unlike with a DUI, the police do not have to administer any sort of testing to determine that you are, in fact, drunk. Public intoxication charges are becoming more common because police are not as readily able to arrest you for a DUI thanks to ridesharing services. So, here are a few tips to help you avoid being charged with public intoxication:

1. Don’t admit to anything. Most people make the mistake of admitting to a couple of beers. You’re not doing yourself any favors by admitting that because it will end up on a police report and used as evidence against you.

2. Avoid arguing with the police officer. Don’t state your case to the cop. They are not there to judge the outcome of the case; that is up to the prosecutor and the court. The court referees the situation while the prosecutor is your adversary opponent. If you argue with the police officer and make them upset, that can make things more difficult for you than necessary.

3. Have your attorney’s phone number on speed dial. Our number is 800.290.5055.

Again, it is more common to be charged with public intoxication these days as more and more precincts realize that they can’t get you on a DUI thanks to ridesharing. If you have any more questions about avoiding this charge, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!