Public Intoxication San Antonio

Trey Porter

March 29, 2018 • 2 min read

In Texas, a person commits the misdemeanor offense of public intoxication (PI) if they’re intoxicated in a public place to a degree that they may endanger themselves or others.

Public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine. It is an arrestable offense, and can permanently tarnish your criminal record.

Public Intoxication Law in Texas

Texas Penal Code §49.02 – Public Intoxication

(a) A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the alcohol or other substance was administered for therapeutic purposes and as a part of the person’s professional medical treatment by a licensed physician.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(d) An offense under this section is not a lesser included offense under Section 49.04.

(e) An offense under this section committed by a person younger than 21 years of age is punishable in the same manner as if the minor committed an offense to which Section 106.071, Alcoholic Beverage Code, applies.

Public Intoxication – I wasn’t intoxicated!

Arrested for PI, but convinced you weren’t intoxicated? It doesn’t matter.

Public Intoxication is a very subjective offense. It is literally a judgment call on the part of the officer. Most PI cases I’ve dealt with don’t involve someone who is intoxicated in public, they involve individuals who are drinking in public and causing problems.

“Intoxication” is defined in Texas as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

“Public Place” is defined in Texas as any place where members of the public have access. This definition includes, but is not limited to, public streets, highways, parking lots, bars, and even gated apartment complexes. You can even be charged with Public Intoxication as a passenger in a vehicle.

“Danger to Self or Others”

Police officers can (and do) construe this to mean whatever they want it to mean. It is very difficult to challenge this claim effectively.

Penalties for Public Intoxication in Texas

  • Arrested and taken to jail
  • Up to a $500.00 fine
  • Possible permanent criminal conviction

San Antonio Public Intoxication Attorney

Criminal defense is not a DIY endeavor. Don’t endanger your permanent record by trying to get through this process on your own. If you’re facing a PI charge, it is imperative that you retain an attorney that has the experience to successfully navigate the process on your behalf.

It can mean the difference between a temporary inconvenience and a permanent criminal record.

As one of San Antonio’s Top Criminal Defense Lawyers, a large part of my practice is focused on defending people charged with intoxication offenses. If you’ve been arrested for Public Intoxication in San Antonio or one of the surrounding counties, don’t plead guilty, pick up the phone and call me today at 210-920-1281.

Contact Trey Porter Law

Public Intoxication is a frustrating charge. Law enforcement doesn’t even have to prove intoxication.

While you cannot be sentenced to jail for a Public Intox. charge, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t go down as a conviction on your permanent record.

I always aim for dismissal. Contact me today, and we can start working on yours.

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