How Much is Bail for Public Intoxication?

Man drinking at a bar

For charges of public intoxication, colloquially known as “drunk in public,” there are several things you need to know to get out of jail as quickly and easily as possible. At Frank Calabretta’s Bail House we can provide you with the facts about the charge itself, sentencing, penalties, typical bail amount and payment information. By gathering all of the facts, you or a loved one will be more prepared if facing public intoxication charges.


Public Intoxication in California

The “drunk in public” charge, as it has come to be known, can only be issued if a combination of three factors has been met:

1. The person was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or another controlled substance willfully. The term willfully is important because it indicates that the individual consumed the substances according to their own free will and was not forcibly or dishonestly drugged by someone else.

2. The individual under the influence was in a public setting.

3. The person was either obstructing a public road, sidewalk, or other common space and/or was not able to attend to his or her own safety and the safety of others. 


Possible Sentencing and Penalties

Drunk in public is typically considered a misdemeanor under California law and carries the penalties of:

  • Up to six months in county jail
  • Informal probation
  • A possible fine of  up to $1000

The sentencing and penalties increase if the defendant is charged with “drunk in public” repeatedly. If an individual is convicted of public intoxication three times within the same twelve month period for example, he or she will face a minimum of 90 days in jail. California law does allow for exceptions such as altering the sentence to 60 days if the defendant agrees to spend that time in an alcohol treatment facility.

Additionally, if the person facing a public intoxication charge was making threats at others or behaving violently when under the influence, the misdemeanor charge can be increased to a felony charge and other penalties added. 


What is the “Drunk Tank” Option?

The “drunk tank” is formally known as “civil protective custody.” This is an option that some officers will choose when the individual is only under the influence of alcohol (someone under the influence of drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs is not eligible for this option). Rather than a “drunk in public” charge, officers can choose to hold a person for up to 72 hours for observation and treatment. While this is a good option for many people, it unfortunately isn’t always available because many counties in the State of California do not have proper “drunk tank” facilities.


What Happens if Someone is Under 21 and Convicted of Public Intoxication?

If a person under the legal drinking age of 21 is convicted of a “drunk in public” charge, he or she can face a suspension of their driver’s license for up to a year. If the individual doesn’t have a driver’s license, the court can order the DMV to refuse to issue one until a year has passed if the person should choose to apply for one.


Average Bail Amounts for Crimes Such as Public Intoxication

The average bail amounts for crimes vary depending on the state and even county, but generally the more serious the crime, the higher the bail amount. If you’re asking the question, “How much is bail for public intoxication?” the average bail amounts for crimes such as “drunk in public” usually hover around the $1000 range in Placer County, but they can change depending upon the charges (such as the difference between a misdemeanor and felony mentioned above). 

In the State of California, a bail bond agency is legally allowed to charge only 10% of the bail bond amount as a fee to the client, so if bail was set at $1000 for example, the fee for the defendant would be $100. 


Choose Frank Calabretta’s Bail House to Help In Your Time of Need

If you have any other questions about the average bail amounts for crimes, public intoxication charges, or needing to post bail, give us a call at  (530) 823–8340. We are a 24/7 bail bond agency, so we are available anytime, day or night to take your call and help you obtain a bail bond for yourself or a loved one. We are honored to serve the Placer County Community and help people get out of jail as quickly and easily as possible.