Section 5 (Disorderly Behavior)

Disorderly Behavior

Threatening, Abusive or Disorderly Behaviour (Section 5 Public Order Act 1986) – This offence can be caused by using abusive language or gestures with intent to cause another harassment alarm or distress. The maximum penalty for disorderly behavior is fine.

  • Drunk and disorderly

What Is Drunk And Disorderly?

This is defined as a person who in any public place is guilty of behaving in disorderly behavior whilst under the influence of alcohol. This means that the police can arrest you if they deem you to be creating a public disturbance whilst drunk, which they can determine with their own discretion. They may do this if they think it is necessary to ensure your own safety and that of those around you.


Drunk and disorderly behaviour can lead to a variety of punishments. Some of these can be handed down without charging you and taking you to court. These include:

  • An official caution
  • An on-the-spot fine (fixed penalty notice)

If you are taken to court by the police, there are a number of other, more serious punishments that you could potentially be prosecuted for. These include one or more of the following:

  • A conditional discharge
  • A maximum fine of £1,000
  • An ASBO (Anti-social behaviour order)
  • A DBO (Drinking banning order)

If you or someone you know has been charged with this offence Contact Us now.