Criminal

Public Intoxication

By November 15, 2015 No Comments

In accordance with the Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.02, an individual commits an offense if the individual appears in a public place while intoxicated due to alcohol or any other substance, to the degree that the individual may endanger himself or another.

Officers observing a person whom they believe to be intoxicated should be reasonably certain that the individual is actually intoxicated rather than suffering from the effects of an illness.

C. Before issuing a citation for public intoxication, officers must check with PIC and the ID Section to determine if the arrested person’s criminal history shows three (3) or more guilty convictions for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, or a combination of both offenses in the last twenty-four (24) months. If three (3) or more guilty convictions are discovered, the arrested person must be transported to jail and charged with “Public Intoxication-Enhanced.”

D. Officers must check the arrested person for injuries and call an ambulance when necessary. Unconscious persons must not be placed in jail.

E. If the subject is extremely dirty, unsanitary, or conscious but incapable of standing, officers must call for the prisoner transport van. Female prisoners may be transported in a separate cell from male prisoners in the prisoner transport van.

F. If the arrested person is transported to the jail, upon arrival at the jail, the officer may request additional assistance from jail workers and should advise the jail supervisor if they were unable to conduct a thorough search of the prisoner.

G. Subjects arrested for public intoxication who have a vehicle must have it processed according to current procedures dealing with disposition of vehicles.

H. Officers must use the appropriate screens and report narrative in the Public Intoxication report to clearly articulate the actions or behaviors that led them to conclude the individual was intoxicated to the point of being a danger to themselves or others. A few examples of these behaviors are: falling down, aggressive behavior towards others, a stumbling gait or walk, or urinating on self.

A strong odor of alcoholic beverage on or about the person is insufficient, by itself, to justify an arrest for Public Intoxication. Therefore, in the narrative of the report, and by use of the screens, officers must fully articulate facts establishing probable cause that the person was intoxicated to the degree that they may endanger themselves or others

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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