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Public Drunkenness Archives

Public Drunkenness Charges in Pennsylvania are Not Just for Drunk People

Few people are aware that it is possible to be charged and convicted of public drunkenness in Pennsylvania even without consuming a single drop of alcohol. On its face, this makes no sense, as the very name of the crime suggests that the statute criminalizes being drunk in public. Yet names can be deceiving. The full name of the statute is "Public Drunkenness and Similar Conduct," with the "similar conduct" being intoxication from a controlled substance.

Public Drunkenness and Indecent Exposure Charges Arise From Alcohol Overdose

As a criminal defense lawyer in the same community as Penn State, I have represented my share of students who manage to tack on additional charges after being sent to Mount Nittany Medical Center following an arrest for public drunkenness and/ or underage drinking. Typically, the drunk student becomes enraged over the arrest and involuntary hospitalization, which leads to additional charges of criminal mischief for destroying hospital property, disorderly conduct for loud and disruptive behavior, or even aggravated assault for attacking a police officer or EMT. The aforementioned scenarios are not uncommon here in Centre County, but I have yet to represent a client like 21 year-old Ty Alsop, who managed to "catch a charge" of indecent exposure following his hospitalization for an alcohol overdose in Evansville, Indiana.

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McClenahen Law Firm
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