After a night of laughs and drinks at the local bar, it is highly discouraged to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. In most cases, the best option is to have a designated driver or to hail a taxi. There are several scenarios in which these individuals might choose to walk instead. Unfortunately, doing do might be costly as well — in Georgia, it is actually a criminal offense for pedestrians to be impaired or under the influence, an offense similar to a DUI.
This law was made with good intentions, in that it is generally implemented only in cases where intoxicated pedestrians are a hazard to themselves or those around them. For example; walking in the middle of the road, along railway tracks or in crowded parking lots while drunk is a danger not only to the pedestrian but to others that may encounter the inebriated walker. On the other hand, a pedestrian who has been drinking is less likely to be arrested for walking on the sidewalk in an orderly manner.
Conviction for PUI charges is a misdemeanor offense in Georgia and can result in a maximum fine of $500 and/or possible jail time. First time offenders may receive a lesser sentence or be offered a plea agreement, particularly if their charges include multiple offenses. If the suspect is a repeat offender or caused public endangerment, they could face jail time, depending on the specific facts and circumstances.
Though it is less common for pedestrians to be arrested for merely walking while intoxicated, it does happen. Similar to a DUI, a PUI conviction could be embarrassing and result in a tainted reputation in the community. Thankfully, everyone has the right to a defense, and for individuals accused of PUI in Georgia, there may be options to contest the allegations and/or reach a plea bargain to limit sentencing exposure.
Source: gainsvilletimes.com, Walking under the influence can lead to jail, Emma Witman [email protected], March 8, 2014