Mississippi Code Annotated Section 97-29-47 succinctly defines “public drunk” as: “If any person shall profanely swear or curse, or use vulgar and indecent language, or be drunk in any public place, in the presence of two (2) or more persons, he shall, on conviction thereof, be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($ 100.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail not more than thirty (30) days or both.”

Essentially, you cannot be drunk or engage in the use of profanity in a public place in the presence of two or more people.  This definition can pose a number of problems.  For one, you are considered in public upon walking out of a bar.  Even if you are making the wise decision of taking a taxi or perhaps walking home after a few drinks, you can find yourself charged with public drunk.  As I have taught Introduction to Law at Ole Miss for several years I have come across a number of students with stories that sound just like the facts above.  Unfortunately, this behavior is still in violation of the law, even if you are found in public with the best of intentions.

If convicted of public drunk you could face fines and up to 30 days in jail.