Many adults harmlessly consume alcohol for leisure. However, alcoholic beverages often directly contribute to criminal acts. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 80 percent of crimes in the U.S. involve alcohol or drugs.
While alcohol may be a factor in a variety of crimes, including domestic violence and sexual offenses, there are some core crimes that are directly related to the consumption of alcoholic drinks. Here are the main three.
1. Driving under the influence
Drunk driving is one of the most common crimes in the country. Alcohol impairment often leads to car accidents, injuries and fatalities. The punishments for DUI are often harsh, including expensive penalties and lengthy incarceration. However, sometimes DUI charges are faulty or unjust. If a person has a strong criminal defense, the prosecution may drop the drunk driving charge.
2. Public intoxication
Charges for disorderly intoxication occur if someone is visibly drunk while in public. Police may stop people and potentially charge them with public intoxication if they appear to be:
- Partaking in lewd behavior
The cops usually stop people for these reasons outside of restaurants or bars. Demeanor and behavior is a crucial component of public intoxication charges. However, an attorney may be able to defend someone against charges like this by claiming he or she was in a private place or was not drunk or acting disorderly.
3. Minor in possession
Florida has an MIP statute that prohibits people under the age of 21 from having alcohol on their person, regardless of whether they consume it. A minor may face these charges if he or she:
- Possesses alcohol
- Attempts to purchase alcohol
- Drinks alcohol
However, if there is no alcohol in a container, authorities may drop the charges.
These are some examples of alcohol-related crimes. Those who face charges for any crime because of alcohol should reach out to a criminal defense lawyer.