Drunk in Public – Penal Code 647f

When a person is charged with being under the influence of alcohol and or drugs in public pursuant to Penal Code section 647(f), the People must prove the following elements of the crime:

1. The defendant was willfully under the influence of alcohol, drugs, a controlled substance, or toluene;

2. When the defendant was under the influence, he or she was in a public place; and

3.The defendant was unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or interfered with, obstructed, or prevented the free use of a street, sidewalk, or other public way.

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose.  Courts have held that the defendant was in a public place when he was found sitting in a parked car on a public street. People v. Belanger (1966) 243 Cal.App.2d 654, 657. If the consumption of alcohol or drugs was not willful, then the person has a defense.  It may happen that a person was slipped a ruffe in their drink that caused them to be unstable.

Most Common Places Arrests Made for Drunk in Public-Penal Code 647(f):
  1. Venice Beach
  2. City of Santa Monica (If you arrested in the city of Santa Monica, you will have a court appearance date in Airport Courthouse.)  
  3. Parking Lots
  4. Dodger’s Stadium
  5. Hermosa Beach
  6. City of Burbank

The City of Santa Monica arrests hundreds of individuals each year for drunk in public charges in violation of Penal Code 647f.  The Santa Monica Police Department responds to the demands of Santa Monica residents who face drunk in public patrons leaving the bar. If you have been cited for PC647f by the Santa Monica Police Department for drunk in public and you have a court appearance in Airport Courthouse, call Attorney Arthur Khachatourians for a defense consultation.

Los Angeles Municipal Code Ordinance – LAMC 41.27c

LAMC 41.27(c) states:

“No person shall drink any malt, spirituous or vinous liquor containing more than one-half of one per cent of alcohol by volume, upon any street, sidewalk or parkway, park, playground, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, or in any railroad depot or bus station, or in any public place, or in any place open to the patronage of the public, which premises are not licensed for the consumption of such liquor on the premises.”

Penal Code 647(f) is a misdemeanor. A conviction may affect your employment and your professional license.  On a background check, a conviction for PC647(f), may dissuade a landlord from renting you an apartment.  If you are arrested for Penal Code 647(f), call attorney Arthur Khachatourians for a defense consultation – 818-590-8294.

The Khachatourians Law group represents individuals arrested for alcohol related incidents’ arising in Los Angeles County and it various courthouses located in Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, Torrance, Inglewood, San Fernando, Van Nuys, and downtown Los Angeles.  If you have been cited for drunk in public (PC647), selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor (B&P Code 25658), or have a minor in possession of alcohol (B&P Code 25662), call the defense team at KLG for a defense evaluation.  If you have already pled guilty or no contest to the charges, please contact us to inquire about post-conviction relief which may include expunging your criminal conviction (Penal Code 1203.4) or sealing your juvenile record.