Can I get charged for public intoxication if the police officer did not give me either a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test?

Asked on June 25, 2014 under Criminal Law, Alabama


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

States rarely require proof by means of a chemical test, such as a blood alcohol test. Instead, the testimony of the arresting officer and any others present as to how the defendant behaved and appeared can be sufficient to enable the jury to conclude that the defendant was intoxicated. Some states do not even require that defendants actually be intoxicated; rather, that they only appear to be. Alabama defines the offense of public intoxication as appearing in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But merely appearing to be under the influence is not itself a crime; people charged with this crime must be

  • acting in a way that endangers themselves, another individual, or property, or
  • annoying another person by behaving in a boisterous or offensive manner.

Please seek legal help. 

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