It is no secret that Key West is full of bars, restaurants, and other hang outs where alcohol is served. It is also no secret that many tourists, as well as locals, engage in what is considered “bar hopping”, and that to do this you have to walk along a public walkway to get from place to place. If you have been drinking, and then take to the sidewalk to go somewhere else, you might face charges for Disorderly Conduct. Of course, this all depends on how you are acting, but it is not uncommon for people who have been drinking to engage in loud speech or to become involved in conversations that easily turn combative. To passersby, this type of behavior can seem disorderly, and when that happens near a law enforcement officer, the chances are high that you will be questioned and possibly charged with drunk or disorderly conduct.
A breakdown of the charge of drunk or disorderly conduct, referred to as Disorderly Conduct, in Florida is that:
• No person shall be intoxicated and endanger the safety of others.
• No person shall be intoxicated and endanger the property of others.
It can be hard to understand just what constitutes disorderly conduct under this law, because most bars and restaurants are public places and serve alcohol. So, how then can a person drink while out to dinner and not be guilty of disorderly conduct? The key lies in the behavior of the person and how that behavior impacts others in the area. This generally happens when a person who has had too much to drink instigates a fight, or commits some act that damages property. These cases are fact specific, and are decided on a case by case basis.
If you have questions about drunk or disorderly conduct, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West.