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Is It Endangerment to be Near A “Loaded” Weapon When Drunk?

In order to be convicted of public intoxication in Indiana, a few factors need to be present. In addition to being intoxicated, one potential element required is endangering yourself or others.

In Hinton v. State, the Court of Appeals held that the defendant did in fact endangered children. Hinton argued that holding a bow and arrow should not be enough to say he endangered anyone because he did not have the bow and arrow in a loaded position and wasn’t aiming it at anyone.

The Court disagreed. They held that actual harm or injury is not required. Endangerment occurred where there were children within 10 feet of Hinton’s location and the weapon was in a position just before he would shoot it.

This is an interesting case because the court found it important that he was near children and the weapon was in a pre-firing position. I can think of similar circumstances that might be problematic. Perhaps having a firearm that doesn’t have a safety, like most glocks? Would it have to be in his hand? Or could it be bolstered and still dangerous?  Regardless, this is the law.

The court’s opinion can be read here:


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