Persons Found Drunk and Disorderly: A Brief Guide
It is a crime to be found drunk and disorderly in a public place.1 This offence has three main parts: (1) The defendant was drunk, (2) the defendant acted disorderly, and (3) the defendant was in a public place.
A public place includes, but not limited to: a highway, road, street, bridge, footway, footpath, court, alley, passage, thoroughfare, park, garden, reserve, place of public recreation or resort, railway station, railway platform, railway carriage, wharf, pier, jetty, passenger ship or boat for hire, public vehicle for hire, church or chapel open to the public, Government school, public hall, public theatre, market, auction room, race-course, cricket ground, football ground.2
For a 1st offence, a maximum of 20 penalty units ($3,304.40) or 3 days imprisonment. For a 2nd+ offence, a maximum of 20 penalty units ($3,304.40) or 1 month imprisonment.3
Some possible defences include:
- The defendant was not drunk at the time.
- The defendant became intoxicated involuntarily.4
- The defendant became intoxicated by fraud, sudden emergency, extraordinary emergency, accident, reasonable mistake, duress or force.5
- The defendant became intoxicated by the use of a prescription or a non-prescription drug.6 However, the defendant must have used the drug at the dosage level recommended by the manufacturer and the defendant must not have known that the drug would cause intoxication.
4. Statistics on Sentencing Outcomes
From 2013 to 2016 in the Magistrates' Court, the outcomes of the cases were as follows:
- Imprisonment: 16.5%;
- Partially Suspended Sentence: 0.6%;
- Wholly Suspended Sentence: 1.9%;
- Youth Justice Centre Order: 0.4%;
- Community Correction Order: 23.3%;
- Fine: 34.4%;
- Adjourned Undertaking/Discharge/Dismissal: 23%.
Prison Sentence Lengths:
From 2013 to 2016 in the Magistrates' Court, the length of prison sentences were as follows:
- Less than 3 Months: 53.5%;
- 3 to 6 months: 30.2%;
- 6 to 12 Months: 8.6%;
- 12 to 18 Months: 2.6%;
- 18 to 24 Months: 4.3%;
- 24 to 36 Months: 0.9%.
From 2013 to 2016 in the Magistrates' Court, the fine amounts were as follows:
- Less Than $500: 11.1%;
- $500 to $1,000: 41.5%;
- $1000 to $2000: 30.3%;
- $2,000 to $3,000: 5.1%;
- $3,000 to $4,000: 0.9%.
Need a Lawyer?
If you require a lawyer, please fill the form below and we will be in contact with you shortly.