Public intoxication, also known as “public drunk” or “drunk in public” is an interesting topic. The main point of interest is how the law defines public. According to Miss. Code Ann. § 97-29-47 “If any person shall profanely swear or curse, or use vulgar and indecent language, or be drunk in any public place, in the presence of two (2) or more persons, he shall, on conviction thereof, be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($ 100.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail not more than thirty (30) days or both.”
The main takeaway here is that to be considered drunk in public you must be in the presence of two (2) or more persons. The question that often comes up is does the arresting officer count as one of the persons. Sadly, yes he does.
We will follow up on this post with a discussion of the “public” part of the statute.