Food & Drink

How to drink outdoors in NYC without getting in trouble, in 2 easy steps

One of these guys is doing this wrong. Do you know which one? via Flickr's Kilgub.
One of these guys is doing this wrong. Do you know which one? via Flickr’s Kilgub.

[UPDATE: 3/3/16: While the NYPD announced it isn’t going to arrest people for public drinking in Manhattan any more, that doesn’t apply to Brooklyn; and you can still get a ticket citywide for doing it. But use this guide to avoid a ticket too.] Despite the heat wave that makes this feel like living in the hell’s new bbq restaurant, and the Royal Baby fever that is making it feel like we never won our independence from those Brits in the first place, this is still gershderned America. And in America, in summer, you want to be drinking outside, all the time every day. That is of course not legal, and there’s nothing like an open container ticket to ruin an otherwise great summer vibe.

BUT … did you know there is an incredibly easy, two-step process to avoid getting busted by Sgt. Buzz Killington? It’s true! Follow this guide below to power up your summer, smartly:

Here’s the big loophole about drinking outdoors, which Gothamist uncovered in an investigation last year: If a cop can’t write down exactly what you’re drinking, brand and all, then the ticket has no standing (so, for example, the ticket can’t just say “rum” it has to be “Kraken brand Rum” or some such). Even the “sniff test” doesn’t past muster.

So, here is the Brokelyn approved two-step guide to drinking outdoors without getting caught.

Step 1: Pour your beverage into a nondescript container such as a cup, water bottle, 7-Up bottle, Cherry 7-up bottle, goblet, novelty miniature baseball cap, CamelBak, camel toe, canteen or Hemingway-esque wine skin. Anything at all that is not its original container. 

Step 2: Drink outdoors.

That’s it. Frankly, if you didn’t know step 1 already, you probably deserve to a talking to from Johnny or Janey Law.

DISCLAIMER: Brokelyn is pro-American freedoms but also pro-drinking responsibly. This post is for information purposes only and not meant to encourage you to do anything stupid in public, with our without alcohol. Be smart, please.


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