This blog has on previous occasions discussed the significant consequences a resident of Harrisonburg or the other Shenandoah Valley communities in Virginia may face if they get charged with a DUI.
However, particularly around a major holiday during which people will choose to drink, it may be important to remind residents that police can, and commonly do charge people with other types of crimes the frequently involve alcohol. Bear in mind that a person can face these crimes regardless of age; it is of course also not legal to drink while under 21.
For instance, someone who appears drunk in public may face a charge of public intoxication. Virginians should keep in mind that this law also applies to those who may be under the influence of some other type of drug or a combination of drugs and alcohol. While this sort of charge may not seem serious, it can leave a person with a misdemeanor conviction on her permanent record.
A person can be arrested for being drunk in public even if he is not engaging in erratic or offensive behavior. If a person is in public and happens to exhibit behavior a police officer finds annoying or alarming, then the person can also face a charge of disorderly conduct.
If convicted, a person can go to jail for disorderly conduct, potentially even for a first-time offense. Substantial fines and other penalties are also possible.
A Virginian facing any charge related to alcohol should take the charge seriously. They should, for instance, consider having an experienced criminal defense attorney help them evaluated their options and prepare their criminal defense.