You’re strolling along Nashville’s Lower Broadway, drawn in by the irresistible symphony of live music and friendly chatter. You’re enamored with the city’s vibrant atmosphere, and while soaking in the local culture, you decide to indulge in a pint or two. What seems like harmless fun can, however, quickly become a nightmare if you’re accused of public intoxication in TN. This article is your essential guide to understanding Tennessee’s public intoxication laws and how a Nashville tourist crime defense attorney, can assist you if faced with such charges.
Tennessee’s Public Intoxication Laws
Public intoxication is a misdemeanor in Tennessee, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and or a fine of up to $50. On the surface, these penalties might seem manageable, but the conviction’s social and professional repercussions can be far more significant.
The key elements of the public intoxication law in Tennessee revolve around location, behavior, and potential risk. First, the alleged offender must be in a public place – this could be anywhere from a park, or street, to a music festival. Secondly, the individual’s behavior should exhibit signs of intoxication, which might include slurred speech, impaired coordination, or disruptive conduct. Lastly, the intoxicated state must pose a risk to the person, others, or property. This could include anything from being a traffic hazard due to unsteady walking, being confrontational, or damaging property.
In contrast to a DUI arrest in Tennessee, where your blood alcohol levels are usually tested and field sobriety tests are performed, the criteria for public intoxication is less rigid. The lack of these assessments can potentially offer a window of opportunity to contest your state of intoxication in court. It’s a critical aspect that you should delve into with your public intoxication lawyer.
Bear in mind, public intoxication in Tennessee isn’t limited to alcohol-induced impairment. The law encompasses intoxication stemming from drugs or other controlled substances, including those prescribed legally. Therefore, even if you possess a valid prescription, any behavior that could be construed as public intoxication could lead to legal repercussions.
Contact a Tourist Crime Defense Attorney in Nashville
Tennessee’s public intoxication statute is fundamentally intended to dissuade alcohol-related disruptive behavior and protect public safety. However, its broad application can create a legal quagmire for those unfamiliar with the local laws, particularly tourists. The line between enjoying the local music scene with a few drinks and getting into trouble with the law can blur quickly, leading to unexpected entanglement in a legal dispute.
When faced with a public intoxication charge in Tennessee, enlisting the services of an experienced tourist crime defense attorney in Nashville becomes imperative. The Law Office of Bryan Stephenson understands the state’s alcohol laws and can mount a vigorous defense through their Nashville tourist representation service.
Contact us today for a free consultation and turn the tide in your favor. Remember, a single misstep doesn’t have to define your tourist journey in the beautiful state of Tennessee.