public intoxication diversion

Public Intoxication Diversion

If you’re reading this, you or someone you care about has probably recently been arrested for public intoxication (drunk in public).  You’re now wondering how you or this person can get out of this nightmare.  For some, there’s good news.  Public intoxication diversion does exist in Butte County that will allow the person arrested never to be charged or convicted of this misdemeanor offense.

Unfortunately, there are limitations to who this diversion applies to.  There are also limitations to when it can applied.  The following are the eligibility criteria:

  • You must have been arrested on one of the “drinking holidays” in Butte County (Chico usually).  The weekends when people celebrate them are usually eligible as well.
    • CSU Chico graduation day
    • Cesar Chavez Day
    • Cinco De Mayo
    • Halloween
    • Labor Day
    • St. Patrick’s Day
  • You must be 24 years old or younger
  • You must have only been arrested for public intoxication (Penal Code Sec. 647(f))

The “restorative justice” component of this diversion program includes 16 hours of community service to be done in Chico, and an 8 hour alcohol and drug awareness program at Butte College.  The person will also be required to pay an “administrative fee” to the District Attorney’s Office, a program fee to Butte College, and a supervising fee to Chico.  These costs are significantly less than what the fine would amount to if the person was convicted in court. Finally, if the person was under 21 at the time of the incident, the person’s drivers license would also be suspended if convicted.  Because no conviction occurs through this public intoxication diversion program, no license suspension results.

If you are one of the unlucky many who was not arrested on these special days, you are not eligible for public intoxication diversion and may face a criminal charge.  This charge carries possible jail time, fines, and a one-year driver license suspension under Vehicle Code Sec. 13202.5.  Visit our Blog page discussing public intoxication/ drunk in public charges and common misconceptions regarding this crime at:  This charge may be fought and won if public intoxication diversion is unavailable.  Visit our public intoxication page for basic information including the elements and possible defenses: public intoxication.

Public Intoxication Lawyer Matthew Luzaich provides free consultations regarding your public intoxication charge and is available to discuss with you the facts of your case, the law, any defenses you may have, and what he can do to help you in criminal court.  Call today for a free consultation.

* The information in this post may no longer be accurate as laws and polices change rapidly.  Call a criminal defense lawyer for up to date accurate information.

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