You may think that a person could be arrested and possibly charged for a crime for being publicly intoxicated in Minnesota, but you would be wrong.

In fact, Minnesota protects being drunk in private or in public in state law, what you do while intoxicated could be a problem, but simply walking around drunk as a skunk is far from being illegal in Minnesota.

Under Minnesota statutes dealing with trade regulations and consumer protections, there is a law literally called "Drunkenness Not a Crime" that protects consumers of alcoholic beverages from the long arm of the law.

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Minnesota Statute 340A.902 says the following:

No person may be charged with or convicted of the offense of drunkenness or public drunkenness. Nothing herein prevents the prosecution and conviction of an intoxicated person for offenses other than drunkenness or public drunkenness nor does this section relieve a person from civil liability for an injury to persons or property caused by the person while intoxicated.

The law is clear that a person can't be charged for simply being drunk, but this in no way protects them from being prosecuted from any crimes that one might commit while being drunk.

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Minnesota is a far cry from states like Texas, where public intoxication is a class C misdemeanor, or Ohio where it is considered a minor misdemeanor, both of these states call for fines for offenders, but no jail for being drunk in public.

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Neighboring states to Minnesota vary greatly on this topic, in Iowa it is a simple misdemeanor for being intoxicated in a public place, Wisconsin doesn't say much about it, it's not a crime, but police can put a drunk person in protective custody if necessary.

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