Greenville, South Carolina implements semi-lenient laws when it comes to the issue of public intoxication. Section 16-17-530 of state law reads that “gross intoxication” in public is strictly prohibited. Gross intoxication can be classified as an individual under the influence of alcohol visibly causing a disturbance or recognizable suppression of their cognitive abilities. Violation of this stature is classified as a misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to $100 or up to 30 days in jail. If convicted of this offense, it cannot be expunged from your record which may lead to difficulties with future job opportunities or school applications.
State law does not prohibit “responsible” public intoxication. You can be intoxicated publicly within the city of Greenville, SC as long as you are not behaving in a disorderly or disturbing manner. State law prohibits people from attending any social gatherings, assemblies, or congregations convened for the purpose of religious worship while intoxicated. If you are found in violation of this statute you could potentially face a fine of $20-$100 and jail time no less than a month, although not exceeding of more than one calendar year.
Although state law does not directly imply that public intoxication is illegal, certain county and city ordinances can make public intoxication illegal. Section 21-163 of local city ordinances state that no person shall be granted immunity from the repercussions of being intoxicated in any public place whether the intoxication is a result of alcohol or any other illicit substance. Public intoxication violations can affect your criminal history record.
In order to avoid serious legal issues pertaining to public intoxication you should always make sure that you drink responsibly. Take proper precautions such as drinking at home and monitoring your consumption while in public. State laws and city ordinances significantly differ depending upon the county and jurisdiction that you’re located in, so you should always be cautious of your actions no matter where you are just to be on the safe side.
Defending a public intoxication charge can take on many different forms dependent upon the circumstances in which the situation occurred. If you are convicted of public intoxication, call The Law Office of H. Chase Harbin for help.
Chase Harbin is a Criminal Defense Lawyer who practices in Pickens and Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 17 years now. Chase Harbin believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.