Public Intoxication

According to § 18.2-388 of the Virginia Code, it is illegal in Virginia to curse or swear “profanely” or to be intoxicated in public whether through drugs or alcohol.  In any area in which there is a court-approved detoxification center, a police officer may transport the suspect to the center in lieu of arrest, although nobody can be held at the center involuntarily.  “In public” is defined as a place that is “in open view, visible to the community, and could include a defendant’s private property. The penalty for being found guilty of this offense is a fine of not more than $250.

Public intoxication is also covered by local code in Virginia.  See below for a county-by-county description of the offense in Northern Virginia: