In Alabama, public intoxication is generally considered a “violation” offense. Public intoxication, often referred to as being drunk or under the influence in public places, can result in legal consequences if you are found to be in violation of the state’s laws.

With school and football season back in full swing, it is important to understand, as a parent and as a student, what is Public Intoxication?

Many students will find themselves facing a Public Intoxication charge at some point throughout their tenure in college.  Don’t think it can happen to you?  During the month of August 2023, Auburn University’s Daily Crime Log documented 31 cases of Public Intoxication or Intoxicated Persons. That’s one person per day, and keep in mind, that statistic only accounts for Auburn’s Campus.  That number does not take into consideration the surrounding areas or downtown bars.  For more information or to review Auburn University’s Daily Crime Log – click here.

With school and football season back in full swing, it is important to understand, as a parent and as a student, what is Public Intoxication?

Here are some key points to know about public intoxication laws in Alabama:

1. Definition: Public intoxication occurs when an individual is in a public place or on private property without permission and, because of consuming alcohol or controlled substances, is reasonably believed to be a danger to themselves or others or is causing a disturbance.

2. Penalties: Public intoxication in Alabama is typically classified as a violation. Penalties for a violation can include fines and, in some cases, up to 30 days in jail. Being arrested and charged with a Public Intoxication violation will show up on a background check, which could negatively impact employment opportunities and housing.  However, a public intoxication charge and or conviction usually qualifies for an expungement. For more information about expungements in Alabama, click here.

3. Law Enforcement Discretion: The enforcement of public intoxication laws can vary depending on local law enforcement agencies and their priorities. Some may issue warnings or offer assistance to individuals who are visibly intoxicated but not causing a disturbance, while others may choose to arrest and charge individuals. Typically, law enforcement in Auburn and surrounding areas will choose to arrest and charge individuals who are showing signs of public intoxication.

Ready to discuss your case? Contact our Trip Walton and his Top Criminal Defense Team for your Free Legal Consultation.

4. Legal Representation: If you are charged with public intoxication in Alabama, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney, like Trip Walton and his top Criminal Defense Team, who can provide guidance on your specific case and help you understand your legal rights.

5. Diversion Programs: In some cases, individuals facing public intoxication charges may be eligible for diversion programs or alcohol education classes as an alternative to jail time or fines. These programs can help individuals address underlying issues related to substance use.


Be aware that some cities and municipalities in Alabama may have their own ordinances related to public intoxication, which can result in different penalties and enforcement practices.

It’s important to remember that laws and penalties can change over time, and the application of these laws may vary depending on the circumstances and jurisdiction. If you find yourself facing public intoxication charges, it’s crucial to seek legal advice from an attorney or law firm, like Walton Law Firm, who is knowledgeable about Alabama’s current laws and regulations.

Remember:  it’s always best to drink responsibly and avoid public intoxication to ensure your safety and compliance with the law.




*this post was partially written with assistance from ChatGPT

Have you or a loved one been charged with a crime and want to speak to an experienced member of our legal team? Call the offices of Walton Law Firm today at 334-321-3000