I'm Drunk Right Now. What Rights am I Losing?

Some people wonder if they’re losing rights or losing different options in the law if they are drunk. The good news that I have for you is that you’re really not. While being drunk might be very risky and you might get yourself in trouble, due to poor decision making for example, you don’t really lose rights under the law simply for being intoxicated.

Now the caveat here is that if you’re intoxicated, there are some things you can’t do. For example, you cannot drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other substance. Also you cannot be intoxicated in public in Virginia. Even being on your front porch where you’re visible to the public is considered “public” in Virginia. So you can’t even really be intoxicated on your front porch.

Of course, even if you’re drunk you do have the right to remain silent if the police investigate you for any type of crime. You do have the right to have an attorney, and, of course, if you can’t afford an attorney, the courts will provide an attorney if you’re charged with a crime where you’re facing jail time.

The key thing is as I mentioned above, that if you are intoxicated your decision making abilities may be impaired. So it’s very important to be careful about what happens. That’s why I typically recommend that it’s not usually an issue to drink as long as you do not have an alcohol problem. You need to be very careful and make sure that you’re safe when doing so. I always recommend to be at home or at the home of a trusted friend and make sure that nobody has to go anywhere. That way you make sure that no one is going to make a poor decision that could get them in trouble with the law or otherwise.

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Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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