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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33404
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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A person setting in a vehicle passenger side not doing

Customer Question

a person setting in a vehicle passenger side not doing anything not causing attention to his self. but is intoxicated. is this person public intoxicated for Tennessee Statue
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

Yes, as a general rule the court can still find them guilty. The code is a little misleading because it uses an archaic description to describe the intoxication.

First, inside a car that is in a public place is considered a public place.

The issue then becomes the language:

"...under the influence of a controlled substance or any other intoxicating substance to the degree that:

(1) The offender may be endangered;

(2) There is endangerment to other persons or property; or

(3) The offender unreasonably annoys people in the vicinity."

Many people believe that and believe that it says that the person must be endangering themselves or others but the statute, under (1) says may be endangered, and that's the key. If the officer believes the person is intoxicated enough that, left to their own devices they may endanger themselves then the person meets the statutory definition and is publicly intoxicated.