It Is Now Legal in Indiana to Be an Annoying Drunk
It is now officially legal in Indiana to get slobbering drunk and harass other people.
Earlier this week, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled to eliminate the portion of its public intoxication law that deemed it unlawful to get inebriated and “annoy” others in public.
The decision was based on the appeal of Rodregus Morgan, who in 2012 got hammered drunk and passed out under a bus shelter. When police woke him up and demanded that he take his nap elsewhere, the man refused to move and even threatened to “kick the officer’s ass,” according to reports. Morgan was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct because the officer found the man’s behavior to be “annoying.”
An attorney for the defendant challenged the verdict, arguing what constitutes annoying behavior is too vague to be a determining factor for arrest. That was good enough for the courts, whose ruling sided with the defense.
“The statute neither requires that a defendant have specifically intended to annoy another, nor does it employ an objective standard to assess whether a defendant’s conduct would be annoying to a reasonable person. Furthermore, the statute does not mandate that the defendant have been first warned that his behavior was considered annoying conduct,” as stated in the court’s ruling.
Morgan was exonerated of his public intoxication conviction, but his conviction for disorderly conduct still remains. Hint: It is never wise to threaten a police officer.
Overall, this ruling was probably a good idea. Can you imagine how many people the Evansville Police Department could put in jail every day for simply being “annoying”? Frightening.