Run-in with Intoxicated Man Leads to Gunfire in Gainesville

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Hall County Courthouse

Gainesville, Ga. - Police were involved in a shootout with an intoxicated man in Gainesville yesterday.

According to reports out of Hall County, police responded to a report of a publicly drunk man who was outside of an extended stay motel on Jesse Jewell Parkway. When they arrived and located the man, he allegedly produced a firearm and opened fire on the officers.

Fortunately, the man was detained and arrested before anyone on the scene was injured. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, there are several different charges that I could speculate on that the man is probably facing in Hall County. I will focus on one law in particular - the law behind public drunk.

Public Drunk in Georgia

Public Drunk in Georgia is defined by state law in O.C.G.A. § 16-11-41 as:

A person who shall be and appear in an intoxicated condition in any public place or within the curtilage of any private residence not his own other than by invitation of the owner or lawful occupant, which condition is made manifest by boisterousness, by indecent condition or act, or by vulgar, profane, loud, or unbecoming language, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Being convicted of public drunkenness can result in up to 12 months of jail time as well as fines up to $1,000.

On top of the state law cited above that encompasses public drunkenness, many municipalities and counties enact local ordinances that criminalize similar behavior.   Local ordinances can strip away the requirement that the arrested person act in an indecent condition or act, or by vulgar, profane, loud, or unbecoming language. 

Moreover, local ordinances can simply make being impaired and in public the crime in and of itself.

Practice Note

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About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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