Have you ever lamented the fact that you couldn’t bring along mimosas to a Sunday picnic in Central Park? Or that you had to hide a little bit of liquid fun at a Rangers game? No more.
New York City has quietly decriminalized public drinking, according to The New York Times. Instead of getting arrested, you’ll get a court summons or a fine so that the NYPD can focus on other, more violent crimes plaguing the city.
“Whether you call it an arrest or not, you have deprived the person of his or her liberty,” Robert Gangi, the founder of the Police Reform Organizing Project. “You have put that person into custody. You have in all likelihood handcuffed that person and put them in some sort of police vehicle and drove them down to Criminal Court where they’re going to be arraigned.”
To be clear, consuming alcohol is still technically illegal in New York City. Police just won’t arrest you for the offense.
To date, only a handful of American cities have decriminalized public drinking, including parts of Las Vegas and New Orleans, where open container laws are lax or non-existent.