CRS 27-81-101 declares that public intoxication and alcohol use disorders are health problems that should be handled by public heath rather than criminal procedures. If you are publicly intoxicated in Colorado and a police officer finds you, you can be taken into protective custody and taken to a jail, a detox center, or a health facility to be temporarily held. However, if you commit any crimes while intoxicated, you will still be charged with those crimes, such as Obstructing a Peace Officer. Other examples of crimes that involve public intoxication include Prohibited Use of Weapons, which can be charged if you have a firearm on your person while intoxicated, and serious charges will ensue if caught riving while under the influence of alcohol.
Wedding Photographer Arrested After Becoming Intoxicated & Threatening Officers
In some states, Public Intoxication is a criminal offense. Last weekend, a wedding photographer in Texas was arrested and charged with Public Intoxication and Obstruction/Retaliation after getting drunk, having sex with a wedding guest, urinating in public on a tree, and threatening police officers (New York Post). A bottle of Alprazolam (aka Xanax), a prescription drug that warns against being taken with alcohol. The side effects of mixing the two can include “extreme drowsiness, nausea and confusion.” Texas, not sharing Colorado's standpoint on Public Intoxication, has the offense listed as a misdemeanor, with fines up to $500, and harsher penalties for minors and subsequent offenders. If the photographer had committed the same crime in Colorado, she could be facing charges of Public Indecency (for public urination), Obstructing a Peace Officer for her threats, and even Indecent Exposure for having sex with the wedding guest, depending on the location, but would not be charged for being excessively drunk in public.
What is Obstructing a Peace Officer in Adams and Arapahoe County?
In Adams and Arapahoe County, you can be charged with Obstructing a Peace Officer, CRS 18-8-104, if you use or threat to use violence, force, physical interference, or an obstacle to obstruct, impair, or hinder a police officer from enforcing the law or from preserving the peace. Obstruction is a class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado. If convicted, you could be facing anywhere from three to 12 months in jail and fines as high as $1,000. Police love to charge you with this crime when you make their job tougher.
Douglas County Lawyer for Obstruction Charges
If you have been charged with Obstructing a Peace Officer after a confrontation in Douglas County, our lawyers are here to help. Be smart- exercise your right to remain silent if contacted by police and call us today at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.