Articles Posted in DIP

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a dangerous trend among approximately 14 million women in the United States. That trend is binge drinking. The latest statistics released show that this group “binge drinks” roughly three times per month and average six alcoholic beverages each time. The definition of binge drinking, according to the study, is having four or more alcoholic beverages per outing for women or girls.

These signs are problematic because the dangerous behavior is not just limited to high school and college aged females. Furthermore, such activity results in over 20,000 deaths per year for women and girls in the U.S. It is also documented that binge drinking leads to increased risks of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, breast cancer and heart disease, among other things. For pregnant women, binge drinking can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and SDS, or sudden infant death syndrome.

According to the report:

• One out of eight women and one out of five high school girls admitted to binge drinking.

• Of the high school girls that consume alcoholic beverages, 50% admitted to binge drinking.

• White and Hispanic females were most likely to binge drink, in addition to women whose household earnings topped $75,000.

The CDC study consisted of a telephonic survey in 2011 of some 278,000 women and 7,500 high school females.

The frightening thing about this study is that these 14 million women and girls are going to attempt to get home after a night on the town or binge drinking at a friend’s house.

The result of making that decision to drive home after drinking can be life changing. Certainly where the average number of drinks consumed is six, many people are going to have consumed eight or ten. In virtually every instance where you have consumed six or more drinks, you will be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if pulled over in California. Pursuant to California law, it is a crime to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more.

If you are convicted of DUI while speeding, having a child in the car 14 years old or younger, or having a BAC of .15 or more, the fines and penalties will be enhanced.

Even if you don’t get behind the wheel to drive, you can be arrested under the California Penal Code for being drunk in public (DIP). Determining factors are if the arresting officer feels that your state of inebriation is such that you are a danger to yourself or others, or that your intoxication level interferes with the use of public sidewalks and other common areas.

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If you have been drinking and you get drunk, you might think you are safe from being arrested by the police as long as you don’t attempt to drive. Certainly, making the decision to not get behind the wheel of a vehicle and attempting to drive is a good one. However, you can be arrested for being drunk in public (DIP) or public intoxication (PI).

Certainly, charges for either are far less serious than a driving under the influence (DUI) charge and carry much less severe fines and penalties. They are, however, misdemeanors that will end up being part of your criminal record.

Under California Penal Code Section 647(f), you are drunk in public if your intoxication level is such that the police believe that you are a danger to yourself and others. It further states that it is illegal to be in any public place if your intoxication level interferes with, obstructs or prevents others from using the streets, sidewalks or other public ways.

A public place can be pretty much any place outside of a home, including restaurants, bars, malls, parks, buses, public streets and sidewalks. It can also be common areas in apartments or buildings, parking lots, driveways, the front yard and the porch, for example.

A public place can also be a place that is not visible to or frequented by the general public, such as movie theaters, private booths in adult bookstores, spas and massage parlors.

Private places would be inside homes, garages, motel or hotel rooms and the backyard of your house.

The statute is directed towards situations where you are out in public and inebriated to the extent that you are falling down, passed out, impeding traffic on sidewalks or being rowdy because of your intoxication.

If arrested and charged with drunk in public (DIP) or public intoxication (PI), you can face up to as much as six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, in addition to summary probation. If you are convicted of a third DIP in twelve months, you can face a minimum of ninety days in jail.

Just as with any other DUI charge, the arrest really depends on the observations and opinions of the arresting officer, in addition to the blood or breath tests. These chemical tests are often flawed, inaccurate or improperly administered, however. The tests can be attacked during cross examination of the investigating officer as well as the arresting officer’s recollection of the events surrounding the arrest.

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