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Old April 23, 2017, 07:49 PM   #1
steve4102
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Carrying While Intoxicated

With all the Marijuana and firearms possession controversy going on all across the country, I thought I would ask about other intoxication.
I live in MN, we have a BAL of .04 to be allowed to carry. some States have different language like "impaired" without a physical limit like MN's (.04%).

Are there any State or States that do not have Statutes regarding alcohol or intoxication limits while carrying a firearm?

I was told that AZ has no such statute and one can carry intoxicated without violating AZ law. I find that incredible. True?
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Old April 23, 2017, 09:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve4102
Are there any State or States that do not have Statutes regarding alcohol or intoxication limits while carrying a firearm?
Texas disallows carry while intoxicated, but there is no clear legal limit.

From the TX Penal Code § 46.035:
Quote:
(d) A license holder commits an offense if, while intoxicated, the license holder carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster.

[Sections (e)-(f) omitted]

(g) An offense under Subsection (a), (a-1), (a-2), (a-3), (b), (c), (d), or (e) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the offense is committed under Subsection (b)(1) or (b)(3)...
There is no definition of "intoxicated" under § 46.035 or in § 1.07 General Provisions. There is a definition under § 46.06 Unlawful Transfer of Certain Weapons, but it only applies to that section. Ergo, there is no affirmative legal standard for intoxication for TX LTC holders.

Every LTC instructor I've spoken with advises their students not to drink while carrying, period. Better safe than sorry!

There have been several attempts in the state legislature to establish a standard, and IIRC another attempt is under consideration as I write this, but none of them have come to fruition.

By the way...
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve4102
With all the Marijuana and firearms possession controversy going on all across the country, I thought I would ask about other intoxication.
Just so we get this straight at the outset: so long as marijuana remains a DEA Schedule I controlled substance, it remains a violation of 18 U.S. Code § 922(g)(3) for a person who is an "unlawful user of or addicted to" marijuana to possess a firearm. Period.

As far as federal law is concerned, it doesn't matter whether someone has actually been burning one within the last couple of hours, or how groovy and mellow he feels; if he smokes dope even occasionally, he is a prohibited person.
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Last edited by carguychris; April 23, 2017 at 09:30 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old April 23, 2017, 10:10 PM   #3
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I don't smoke but I do drink.

ANY drinking and there is NO firearms. I don't care if I am going out for one beer there will be no firearm carried or handled. Laws or otherwise that is just prudent course of action, at least for me.
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Old April 23, 2017, 10:18 PM   #4
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I live in a zero impairing substance state. You cannot carry with ANY amount of impairing substance in the body

As always things are relative. I don't carry out in town if I have consumed, or wil consume, alcohol. I have carried walking up the street to investigate suspicious vehicles parked at the dead end after one or two beers. I'm aware it may not be the best practice, but its a risk I take to keep folks who have no business parking on a private dead end street late at night from being there.
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Old April 23, 2017, 10:36 PM   #5
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There are already laws on the books in AZ about being publicly intoxicated - carrying a gun will mean something only if you do something stupid with it. Stagger around drunk, and you are going to go sober up in the drunk tank. Then you can fight next week to get your gun back, you idiot.
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Old April 23, 2017, 11:46 PM   #6
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I live in Colorado. In my class,I was taught the limit was .04,same as driving impaired,however!
There is a loophole. The officer has discretion to call you impaired and no BAC is necessary.
The advice in my class was "Just don't"
Seems like good advice.
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Old April 24, 2017, 05:49 AM   #7
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There is no law about drinking and carry in PA. However, use of controlled stuff will cost you your LTCF in a heart beat.
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Old April 24, 2017, 06:50 AM   #8
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I don't believe the intent of the OP's question had anything to do with the prudence, or imprudence, of drinking while carrying. I believe he was asking for the LEGAL aspects and what limit - if any - is in each state. I went through my state's regs, as well as a concealed carry book written by a 2A lawyer. In neither case did I find a defined legal maximum.
It is legal in my state to consume while carrying (just no consuming in a bar), so having a glass of wine while dining out I have no issue with. The point then becomes, is my legal limit while carrying the same as vehicular DUI? Less?

I don't know, but would like to find out.
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Old April 24, 2017, 07:48 AM   #9
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As far as I know, Georgia has no specific statute on the matter.

That said, firearms and intoxicating substances of any sort do not mix. Period. Not at the range. Not when cleaning my guns at home. Certainly not when carrying. It used to amaze me when I denied range use to people who were intoxicated and I actually got an argument from them.

Furthermore, if I had to use a weapon in self-defense and was intoxicated, I would expect the situation to get very dicey for me. Whether or not there's a statute on the matter, it's just a bad idea all around to mix the two.
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Old April 24, 2017, 07:49 AM   #10
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Refer to case law regarding officers being armed and consuming alcohol. IIRC, there was one shooting where an officer was called away from where he had just consumed 1/2 glass of beer, and was involved in a shooting. That half glass caused much hate and discontent through the case, (I think this is a Massad Ayoob one), though I think the officer did prevail. Calling actual lawyers?
I know several people who absolutely love to g out shooting while drinking and I avoid them off duty. So while there may not be a legally specified limit in your local/state law, assume that any mind altering substance in your bloodstream, alcohol, marijuana, opiods, etc., are going to cause you much grief if you have to fight this in court.
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Old April 24, 2017, 12:12 PM   #11
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Here in Ohio there is no legal limit.. if you blow anything but zero you're in trouble.

Im not sure how strictly it's enforced at the street level as I can think of many innocent ways someone would blow enough to register but still be completely sober.

But that's da law here.
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Old April 24, 2017, 03:26 PM   #12
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While absolutely not prudent, there are no statutes/laws pertaining to carrying while intoxicated here in Vermont...
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Old April 24, 2017, 04:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
So while there may not be a legally specified limit in your local/state law, assume that any mind altering substance in your bloodstream, alcohol, marijuana, opiods, etc., are going to cause you much grief if you have to fight this in court.
There you go. Any amount of anything can be argued to have impaired your judgment. You might not have your motor skills be too impaired to operate a gun, or a car, or whatever, but your JUDGMENT is suspect. And, I don't see any real argument other than "no, I was not impaired", which go nowhere with a jury. Its just your word, and while it may be the truth, there's no way to prove it.
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Old April 24, 2017, 05:23 PM   #14
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I may be wrong, but I don't think you are supposed to be in a bar with a gun in PA. If the greeter at WALMART tells you to check your gun at the door, it is that or leave. It is never good to push stuff. I was at Federal Jury duty for a month once in Philadelphia. The cops in the Courthouse said all I had to do was check it with them, but if Philly cops pulled me over "Have fun getting it back".
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Old April 24, 2017, 05:45 PM   #15
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You better have a good safety!
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Old April 24, 2017, 06:47 PM   #16
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Quote:

I may be wrong, but I don't think you are supposed to be in a bar with a gun in PA. If the greeter at WALMART tells you to check your gun at the door, it is that or leave. It is never good to push stuff. I was at Federal Jury duty for a month once in Philadelphia. The cops in the Courthouse said all I had to do was check it with them, but if Philly cops pulled me over "Have fun getting it back".


To repeat under the law, you can carry in a bar open or concealed. it is private property so the bar may not allow it.
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Old April 24, 2017, 09:09 PM   #17
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To the best of my knowledge, there is no law in my beloved adopted home state of New Hampshire regarding alcohol consumption and firearms. There is no law prohibiting concealed or open carry in a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages, or in a bar, although private businesses do have the option of banning carry on their premises (I've never seen one that did that). That, of course, doesn't mean that mixing alcohol and firearms is a good idea, just that we don't feel it's necessary that every good idea needs to be a law.

We are (now, finally, thanks to our Republican Governor) a constitutional carry state with the option, if an individual chooses, of obtaining a license for reciprocity purposes. We are one of the safest places to live in the entire country. Live free or die.
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Old April 25, 2017, 07:03 AM   #18
Bartholomew Roberts
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Due to the popularity of intoxicants other than alcohol, many states have laws that grant considerable discretion to police officers in determining if you are impaired. So let's say you have a single beer and get made by a local police officer, who then uses that discretion to arrest you. Now let's say you luck out and get the incredibly rare "all-TFL" jury. Reading through this thread and the attitudes on mixing firearm and alcohol use here - how do you think you'd do in court?
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Old April 25, 2017, 10:30 AM   #19
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If you're gonna drink or blow pot please don't carry. It's just asking for trouble, have you never seen how stupid drunks are? No telling what you'll do, pot will do the same thing.
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Old April 25, 2017, 11:47 AM   #20
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The advice in my class (the lawyer portion) was REFUSE the breathalyzer and demand a blood test if you had been drinking AT ALL. You will loose your license for doing so but its easier to fight the license problem then the firearm issue. His theory was the blood test would take long enough it would help eliminate your issues.

Of course his primary advise was just don't.

As I do not drink caffeine (ok maybe once in awhile) I could make an argument that those that do are impaired in both motor skills and neurological activity when compared to someone who does not. Be very careful about vague terms like "impaired" or "impairing substance"
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Old April 25, 2017, 01:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
His theory was the blood test would take long enough it would help eliminate your issues.
His theory is incorrect. The body burns alcohol at a constant rate, so a blood test results are simply adjusted for the amount of time that passes between the incident and the test. And, as far as I know, the time adjusted result is accepted as valid by the law & the courts.

refusal of the breathalyzer losing you your license is an administrative matter, dependent on the specific wording of the law in your state.

What refusal of the breathalyzer does do, is prevent false positives. Sometimes, combinations of certain foods, mouthwash, and a person's unique body chemistry will show a "positive" on a breathalyzer, WITHOUT the person drinking alcoholic beverages.

Years ago a lady I worked with had such a unique body chemistry that she would test positive for drinking (by breathalyzer) when she had not been drinking. The job required a security clearance, and she wound up getting suspended (for some time) while the union and security "duked it out" about whether or not she was guilty of "drinking on the job". It took a while, but verified medical testing (which the company had to pay for) did eventually prove her innocent, and she was reinstated, and compensated.

This condition was something she had been completely unaware of, until it became a problem. IF you are one of these rare people, (and you know it) I'd recommend getting notarized statements from doctor(s) stating you are, and keeping them with you at all times. Might not get you out of a drunk driving ticket, or stop a cop who decides you are impaired from taking you in, or taking your gun, but it can't hurt, and WILL be important in court, later. IF you haven't been drinking. If you have, well, then, forget it.

What is most important is the language of the law. It's not a crime to drive if you've been drinking, its a crime to drive impaired, and while the setpoint in law is the standard for impairment, you can be impaired below that limit, people are different. That CAN matter. If you hit or exceed the legal limit, and are not actually "impaired" (and there are people like that, as well) it doesn't matter to the law. Over the limit is legally impaired, no matter what your physical reality is. And, of course, if you are under the influence of anything, your physical reality might not be what you THINK it is.

Quote:
As I do not drink caffeine (ok maybe once in awhile) I could make an argument that those that do are impaired in both motor skills and neurological activity when compared to someone who does not.
You can make the argument all you wish, but since the world runs on coffee, or tea, I doubt you will get much traction with that particular argument. OF course, anything is possible, I suppose. Research the "Twinkie Defense".

If you're bouncing off the walls and speaking rapid gibberish, it doesn't really matter if it was coffee, sugar, crystal meth, jack Daniels, or the voices in your head, that put you there, you WILL be deemed "impaired". Might matter later in court, might not, but it absolutely won't change officer's response when they decide you are impaired.
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Old April 25, 2017, 02:28 PM   #22
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Caffeine generally will effect your nerves.. so it will open up your groupings if that matters.

Honestly "impairment" could be taken very broadly.. what about prescription drugs? lot's of opportunity to remove people from their guns with that.

I agree guns/intoxication don't mix.. but frankly if someone wants to have a glass of wine or a beer with their meal while carrying Im not gonna raise a fuss.

The legal limit varies from state to state but they're almost always low numbers to start with.

It's the people who do not know when to stop that are the problem.

But I think states like mine where there is no legal limit.. and 0.01 could get you locked up that is ridiculous!
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Old April 25, 2017, 02:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Are there any State or States that do not have Statutes regarding alcohol or intoxication limits while carrying a firearm?
That was the OP's original question. Not seeing too many answers on topic. Does anyone have any references to link to?
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Old April 25, 2017, 02:56 PM   #24
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I just asked a Texas DPS Trooper who runs into this situation more often than he should.

If the CHL / LTC holder is over the limit but not driving she / he's going to jail for at least public intoxication. If he / she is driving, it's going to be a "No Bueno Day" for that person, as they're going to look everywhere for a reason to pile additional charges on.
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Old April 25, 2017, 03:21 PM   #25
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Quote:
Quote:
Are there any State or States that do not have Statutes regarding alcohol or intoxication limits while carrying a firearm?
That was the OP's original question. Not seeing too many answers on topic. Does anyone have any references to link to?
Here in PA I can't give you a link to a non-existent law
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