Public Drinking in New York City Given the Go-Ahead (Kinda)
Last week, it was announced that low-level offenses such as public consumption of alcohol (boozing it in the streets), public urination, and littering would no longer be punished by arrest. A summons would be issued. This only holds true in Manhattan (the borough often referred to as "The City", the one many believe is all NY consists of) for the time being.
As I walked south along Park Avenue during the 6 PM hour with a friend, we found ourselves behind a visibly intoxicated man who also happened to have a bottle of cerveza keeping him upright. He wasn't even brown-bagging it.
My friend made a comment about the fact that said man because of his race and suspecting socioeconomic class was getting away with blatantly drinking in public. That's when I broke the news to her about the new laws on the books.
She was more concerned with the public urination. And rightfully so. Men, perhaps due to their ease of anatomy, piss in public quite often. I do admit, the majority of them try to do so discreetly. If word gets out that public urination is now decriminalized... Oh boy. Point that stream at someone in a menacing manner and you can still be arrested.
No NYC won't become The Strip or New Orleans during Mardi Gras but that doesn't mean some travelers won't try their best to make it so. Word to the wise to those who are thinking about your own booze crawl, upcoming St. Patty's Day celebrations etc -- you can still be arrested if you are considered a threat. NYPD officers will use their discretion in the summons vs. arrest quandry. Don't be a douche. The bachelor and bachelorette parties that find themselves in NY or the "Lawn Guyland" bros who insist on clogging the Murray Hill and LES sidewalks, you've been warned. Those intrepid types that venture off Manhattan island, you'll still have to drink indoors.
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