(a) No person may be prosecuted solely for being intoxicated in a public place. A person who is intoxicated in a public place and is not disruptive may be assisted as provided in G.S. 122C-301.
(b) If, after arresting a person for being intoxicated and disruptive in a public place, the law-enforcement officer making the arrest determines that the person would benefit from the care of a shelter or health-care facility as provided by G.S. 122C-301, and that he would not likely be disruptive in such a facility, the officer may transport and release the person to the appropriate facility and issue him a citation for the offense of being intoxicated and disruptive in a public place. This authority to arrest and then issue a citation is granted as an exception to the requirements of G.S. 15A-501(2). (1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1134, s. 1; 1981, c. 519, s. 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 7.)