Are You an American Public Drinker?

Mar 07, 2016 07:12 AM EST | By Rhea Penaflor (


It's better safe than sorry.

You might be craving for a cold beer after work and want to just grab one at your one-stop shop and drink while you're walking to your way home.

The bare majority of U.S. states and localities prohibit possessing or consuming an open container of alcohol in public places, such as on the street, while 24 states do not have statutes regarding public consumption of alcohol. However, the definition of "public place" is not always clear. California is unique in that it does have a state law on the books, but similar to states that have no law, the state law only applies to areas in which the "city, county, or city and county have enacted an ordinance."

Open container restrictions are not always rigorously enforced, and open containers may in fact be legally permitted in nominally private events which are open to the public. This is especially true in downtown districts and during holidays, Oktoberfests and sporting events.

Popular American Open Containers in Public:

Sonoma Plaza, CA

Sonoma is a center of the state's wine industry for the Sonoma Valley AVA Appellation, as well as the home of the Sonoma International Film Festival.Famous worldwide for it's wine, Sonoma County's wineries are a favorite global destination for winery tours and tastings .

Butte, MT

You're free to drink anytime between 8:01AM to 2 AM. Make sure you're sober at 2 AM.

The Power and Light District of Kansas City, MO

The Power and Light District is a shopping/entertainment mega-complex that spans eight  blocks where you can drink your booze while walking in the more than 50 unique bars and entertainment district of Kansas City!

Social customs and laws on drinking alcohol in public vary significantly around the world. Drinking in "Public" means drinking in outdoor spaces such as roads, walkways or parks, or in a moving vehicle.  In the United States and in larger regions, such as the Muslim world, public drinking is almost universally condemned or outlawed, while in other countries, such as Portugal, Spain, Germany, New Zealand and Japan, public drinking and public intoxication is socially acceptable, although may not be entirely legal.

 Drinking in public is illegal in many jurisdictions in the United States, with this ban usually extending to include drinking within a moving car as prohibited by drunk driving laws.

Laws against drinking in public are known as open container laws, as the presence of an open container of alcohol is seen as evidence of drinking in public and is far easier to witness and prove than the act of drinking.

In some places and circumstances, public alcohol consumption is accepted. This includes such cities as New Orleans or Las Vegas, certain college campuses and around sporting events - notably at a tailgate party.

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