Sue is drunk.  She is in the public.  Contrary to common belief this does not make Sue guilty of  public intoxication (in San Antonio Texas). The Texas Public Intoxication law requires that Sue not only be in the public, and intoxicated, but it requires that she be a DANGER TO HERSELF OR OTHERS.  If the danger part cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then she is not illegally publicly intoxicated within the meaning of the statute.  Stated more simply, it is legal to be drunk in public.  It is illegal to be a danger to yourself or others while being drunk in public.

Public Intoxication Law

1) Intoxicated? Check. 2) Public Place? Check. 3) Danger to himself? Check.

If the guy above gets a ticket for public intoxication, he will face a $500 fine and some jail time. If he hires a lawyer, the lawyer will assess possible defenses.  Was he really about to fall on the bleachers, or was he actually safe?  Was he really intoxicated… arguments would be made of this nature.

San Antonio Texas Law on Public Intoxication

Sec. 49.02.  PUBLIC INTOXICATION. (a) A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.

(a-1)  For the purposes of this section, a premises licensed or permitted under the Alcoholic Beverage Code is a public place.

(b)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the alcohol or other substance was administered for therapeutic purposes and as a part of the person’s professional medical treatment by a licensed physician.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(d)  An offense under this section is not a lesser included offense under Section 49.04.

(e)  An offense under this section committed by a person younger than 21 years of age is punishable in the same manner as if the minor committed an offense to which Section 106.071, Alcoholic Beverage Code, applies.

We are The Public Intoxication Attorneys in San Antonio

Need a San Antonio Public Intoxication Lawyer?  Call us! (210) 271-2800.  We handle many cases where people are charged with this crime.  We make the process super simple for our clients.  We require only TWO easy steps:

1. Call us and pay for your ticket;

2. Give us your information.

 Yes, It’s THAT easy.  You do not have even have to appear for court.  Not only is this process seamless for our clients, it is very valuable to them as well.  Hiring a lawyer assures that the client’s record is protected if possible and 100% assures no court appearance or documents are forgotten.

Order Legal Service for SATX Public Intoxication ($689)

What Will Happen With Your Public Intoxication Ticket If You Do Not Hire a Lawyer?


  • You will go to 401 S. Frio Street on the day of court;
  • you will pay for parking, and park in the lot just outside the building;
  • you will go through a fast security check;
  • you will stand in a short line and wait to speak with a clerk;
  • you will be directed to the court room which you have been assigned;
  • you will go wait for the prosecutor to call your case (can be a long wait);
  • you will then talk to the prosecutor about the case briefly;
  • you will then be called by the judge, who will make his order regarding the outcome of your ticket;
  • you will then go wait in line to pay the cashier
public intoxication ticket in san antonio

If you handle your public intoxication matter without a lawyer, you will be doing a lot of waiting around, on the day of court.

Advanced Facts on Public Intoxication in Texas (For Lawyers)

1.  Public Intoxication Law was challenged for vagueness and affirmed in Duhrkopf v. State, and Holmes v. State;

2.  Parking lots and convenience stores have been affirmatively deemed “public places” in Gonzalez v. State;

3.  A man was found guilty of public intoxication due to intoxication by acrylic plastic aerosol paint.  Holder v. State;

4.  Being intoxicated in a high crime area can be deemed enough danger to the self to amount to the danger elements of intoxication.  Padilla v. Padilla.

5.  Private driveways do not count as “public” for purposes of public intoxication law.

If you have been arrested for public intoxication in past, we may be able to expunge your record.  It can never hurt to ask. (210) 271-2800.

Article Name
Public Intoxication in San Antonio, Texas (Texas Penal Code 49.02)
Legal tips from Public Intoxication Lawyer, Megan Cook on how to handle a ticket.