Speak Directly To a Lawyer Now

1300 038 223
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 days
Or have our lawyers call you:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Persons Found Drunk

In Victoria, it is an offence to be found drunk in a public place and is punishable by way of a fine only (8 penalty units). Frequently, individuals are charged with public drunkenness in conjunction with another more serious offence.

Penalties the Court can impose for this charge:

The Offence of Public Drunkenness

The offence of public drunkenness is contained in Section 13 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 which states: “Any person found drunk in a public place shall be guilty of an offence”.

What Actions Might Constitute Public Drunkenness?

  • Being unable to stand upright on a footpath due to alcohol intoxication;
  • Being unable to speak to a police officer when found walking through the street due to alcohol intoxication; or,
  • Being unable to sit upright at a bus stop due to alcohol intoxication.

What Is Drunkenness?

Whilst there is no specific definition of “drunkenness”, the Police do not need to conduct a breath analysis to prove that you are intoxicated. “Drunkenness” is defined as a state where the person’s mental or physical faculties or judgement are materially impaired in the conduct of the ordinary affairs of life. In deciding whether a person is drunk the Court must consider what an ordinary person would consider as being “drunk”.

What the Police Must Prove

  • You were drunk; and
  • That you were in a public place.

Possible Defences for Public Drunkenness

  • Police cannot prove the offence.
  • Non-self induced intoxication.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

This offence is a summary offence and will be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

Legal Hotline
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 Days
Call 1300 038 223