Is Disturbing The Peace A Blanket Charge?

Disturbing the peace is kind of a generic charge. So let’s say, you know, you’re causing some sort of a ruckus or something in a bar and you’ve had a little too much to drink. That would be the type of thing. It would be one that doesn’t involve any sort of violence, there’s no assault, you’re not threatening anyone, there’s no battery, so you haven’t touched anyone, but maybe you’re just kind of screaming or kind of upsetting people.

Disorderly conduct is another way it’s put in different jurisdictions, but it’s kind of being out of the normal range of behavior that’s accepted in New Orleans. A lot of times people think in New Orleans, kind of like in Las Vegas or something, they can get away and being drunk is actually legal. It’s not. If you are, if you have been over served as they say and you are displaying public signs of intoxication you can be arrested.

One thing people say to me always is they say when I get arrested for disturbing the peace or public intoxication they say well, I didn’t get breath tested. You really don’t get breath tested. It’s usually from your general appearance. They’ll put that in the affidavit, in the report that you were, you know, you’re doing something that appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Breathalyzers or urine tests or blood tests are really exclusively, at least in New Orleans, done for DWIs, driving while intoxicated.

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