Redefining of Public Intoxication moving forward

Updating this earlier entry, it appears that the move to revise the definition of Public Intoxication laws is moving forward. Senate Bill 97, authored by Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) was passed by a vote of 30-20. The bill now moves to the Indiana House of Representatives. Senate Bill 97 narrows the crime of Public Intoxication, and does not allow for a conviction unless the person endangers their own life, someone else's life or is disturbing the peace or creating a disturbance. Public Intoxication is a Class B Misdemeanor and, if convicted, a person can face up to 180 days in jail, fines and court costs, or probation, which may include lengthy and expensive alcohol counseling.

It is interesting to note that Sen. Young recognizes that Indiana is one of five states that only requires consumption of alcohol to be charged with the offense of Public Intoxication. "Our current law is too vague and allows Hoosiers to be charged with a crim even if they do the right thing and get a ride or try to walk home," said Sen. Young. See this earlier entry regarding passengers being arrested for public intoxication.

I would hope that the Indiana House of Representatives moves this bill forward and it is sent to Governor Daniels for signature.

If you have any questions regarding Public Intoxication, Operating While Intoxicated (DUI/OWI) or other criminal offense, contact Gregory A. Miller, a Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Attorney, at (260) 833-7249.