Being drunk in public could result in criminal charges
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Being drunk in public could result in criminal charges

It is not a crime to be drunk in public in Arizona. However, public drunkenness can lead to other criminal charges.

What should people know about drinking in public in Arizona?

Drinking in public is illegal

While it is not illegal to be drunk in public, it is illegal to drink. Arizona law makes it a class 2 misdemeanor to drink alcohol in a public recreation area or thoroughfare. This means that if you are legally drinking in a bar, restaurant, private residence or other area and you carry your drink with you into a public place, the police could arrest you. The penalty for drinking in public is up to four months in jail and up to $750 in fines.

Driving with an open container is also illegal

It is OK to store a previously opened bottle of liquor in the trunk of your vehicle, but if you or a passenger is operating a vehicle with an open container of alcohol on public roads you may face arrest, even if neither of you is drinking.

Public drunkenness could lead to a disorderly conduct charge

If you engage in behavior that disturbs the peace while you are drunk, the police could arrest you for disorderly conduct. Examples of disorderly conduct may include fighting and other violent behavior, unreasonable noise, offensive language or gestures and refusing to obey lawful orders. The penalties for disorderly conduct are fines of up to $2,500 and up to six months in jail.

While the police can not arrest you for public intoxication, being drunk in public can be risky because of the potential for unintentionally committing other crimes.

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