If you've been drinking in any location other than your home, the first thing that you must do when it's time to go home is not get behind the wheel of a car. This means that you might seek a variety of other methods of transportation, including public transit, walking, and other methods. When you're out in public and have been drinking, it's possible for the police to detain you under the suspicion of public drunkenness. It's possible for you to get charged for this misdemeanor crime, in which case you'll want to promptly consult a criminal attorney, but there's also a chance that you'll be allowed to continue home. Many things can cause the police officer to choose either outcome, including the following.

Whether You're Being Disruptive

If someone has called the police because you're walking down the street and being loud and boisterous, there's a good chance that you'll find yourself being arrested for public drunkenness. Law enforcement in any community wants to remove those who as disrupting others, and this can include those who are intoxicated. However, if you're approached by a police officer because he or she wants to ask why you're walking alone at night, and you haven't been causing any trouble, you may be more apt to be left to continue home.

Whether You're Honest

Police officers will quickly assess how forthcoming any suspect is and use this information accordingly. If you get upset about being detained, state that you haven't been drinking, and perhaps even attempt to escape, you can count on ending your night sobering up at the police station. However, if you're quiet and respectful, perhaps telling the officer that you're walking home from the bar because you don't have a ride, you'll do yourself more favors.

Whether You're Close To Home

The police officer who detains you on the suspicion of public drunkenness will also evaluate the distance between where you currently are and where you live, as well as the degree of intoxication that you appear to be experiencing. For example, if you're detained just a block from where you live and appear to be able to walk without being a danger to yourself, it's probable that the police officer will allow you to continue on home. However, if you're a lengthy distance from home and the officer isn't convinced that you'll be able to get there safely — he or she might be worried that you'd fall or that you could be a victim of a street crime — you could face a charge. If you've been charged with public drunkenness, consult a criminal defense attorney.

Contact a legal office, like Johnson Motinger Greenwood Law Firm, for more help.