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Manhattan Decriminalizes Public Drinking

by Alexander Frane on Mar 10, 2016 in Culture

The island of Manhattan has made changes to its public drinking laws--while it’s still illegal to drink while walking down Broadway or in Central Park, it’s no longer an arrestable offense. New York has decriminalized public drinking, along with a few other things.
 
This doesn’t mean 5th Avenue will suddenly look like New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. Public drinking is still illegal. If police think it necessary, you can still be slapped with a fine or a court summons, but you won’t be led away in cuffs. Along with drinking, other crimes such as public urination, littering, and taking two seats on a subway will be greeted with the same level of attention, though please refrain from any of those.
 
Officials can still arrest a person for a low-level crime, as long as the person is putting themselves or others at risk; you might not be bothered for sharing some wine during a park picnic, but you will still be arrested if you’re wasted and screaming harrassments on the street.
 
The intention isn’t to encourage public intoxication but to cut down on expensive, time consuming arrests for low level offenses, something that was required from police before the law was changed. This new tolerance will allow the city and police to focus their resources on more dangerous or violent “threats to public safety”, as Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.

So go forth and carefully, respectfully have a drink in public. Just, please, don’t do any of the other decriminalized things. 


Photo via Pixabay

Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Outdoor Seating, Wine
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