Drunk in Public: Alexandria, VA

Public intoxication in Alexandria, Virginia, is covered by both state and local law.

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 Alexandria.  Specifically, Section 13-1-5 of the Alexandria municipal code prohibits anyone from being “intoxicated in public, whether such intoxication results from alcohol, narcotic drug or other intoxicant.”  The penalty for violating this provision is $250 fine.