“Drunk Crimes” in Charlotte


Whether you are at a sporting event, music festival, or a concert in Charlotte, alcohol is usually sold which has a tendency to lead to a number of altercations. More times than not, a lot of clients do not remember anything because they drank too much alcohol. Below are just a few of the charges that stem from a night out on the town.

To be completely clear, North Carolina law, specifically, North Carolina General Statute § 14-447(a) states that there is no prosecution for public intoxication. The statute states that no person may be prosecuted solely for being intoxicated in a public place. As long as the individual is not disruptive in any way, they can be assisted without facing any form of criminal charges. Put in common sense terms, it is not illegal to be drunk in public despite what you have seen or heard on television.


  • The term “intoxicated” means the condition of a person whose mental or physical functioning is presently substantially impaired as a result of the use of alcohol.
  • The term “public place” means a place which is open to the public, whether it is publicly or privately owned.
  • “Alcoholism” is the state of a person who habitually (continuously) lacks self-control as to the use of alcoholic beverages, or uses alcoholic beverages to the extent that his/her health is substantially impaired or endangered or his social or economic function is substantially disrupted.

North Carolina General Statute § 14-444 (Intoxicated and Disruptive in Public)

What is actually a crime and unlawful is being disruptive and intoxicated in public. In the statute, it shall be unlawful for any person in a public place to be intoxicated and disruptive in any of the following ways:

  • Blocking or otherwise interfering with traffic on a highway or public vehicular area, or
  • Blocking or lying across or otherwise preventing or interfering with access to or passage across a sidewalk or entrance to a building, or
  • Grabbing, shoving, pushing or fighting others or challenging others to fight, or
  • Cursing or shouting at or otherwise rudely insulting others, or
  • Begging for money or other property.

The punishment that you could face is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Even though this is the lowest class of misdemeanors, it can still appear on your record and become a negative blemish in your life.

N.C.G.S. § 14-223 (Resisting Officers)

Typically, when arrested and alcohol is involved there are times where individuals resist being arrested because of the state that they are in. Under North Carolina law, if any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge an official duty, that person can be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. This charge is one level higher than a Class 3 misdemeanor from public intoxication and disruptiveness.

On top of that, while that person is being arrested and potentially resisting that arrest and serious injury is caused to an officer, that person can then be found guilty of a class I felony. However, if serious bodily injury is caused to the officer, the person resisting arrest could be found guilty of a class F felony.

Under that statute, serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in a prolonged hospitalization.

N.C.G.S. §§ 18B-302(b) and (c)

Under North Carolina General Statute § 18B-302(b), it is unlawful for a person less than 21 years old to do any of the following:

  • Purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess malt beverages or unfortified wine.
  • Purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess fortified wine, spiritous liquor, or mixed beverages.
  • Consume any alcoholic beverage.

A violation of this subsection by a person who is 19 or 20 years old can be found guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Further, if any person is under the lawful age to purchase and who aids and abets (helps) another in violation of the bulleted list above can be found guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

N.C.G.S. § 18B-302(e)

More importantly, under the statute, it is unlawful for any person to enter or attempt to enter a place where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed, or to obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages, or to obtain or attempt to obtain permission to purchase alcoholic beverages, by using or attempting to use any of the following:

  1. A fraudulent or altered driver’s license.
  2. A fraudulent or altered identification document other than a driver’s license.
  3. A driver’s license issued to another person.
  4. An identification document other than a driver’s license issued to another person.
  5. Any other form or means of identification that indicates or symbolizes that the person is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing alcoholic beverages.

In violation of this section of the statute, the person could be convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Final Note

It is important to understand that mistakes can happen when alcohol is involved. Most importantly, individuals should be aware of the potential charges that could come about when they are reckless and drinking before and after these events. All Charlotte events are supposed to be fun and for everyone to respect each other and the local law enforcement. Do not make it more than that. It is not worth a lifelong record for picking a fight with another fan, concert attendee, or officer. If faced with a scenario like these, please do not hesitate to call our experienced criminal defense team at Jetton & Meredith. Call 704.333.1114.