Everybody knows about the law against drinking alcohol in public. Every once in a while it seems like there is an absurd ticketing of someone who just wanted to enjoy a beer while sitting on his stoop. But it turns out that there’s a loophole to this law—a loophole so big that you can drunkenly stumble right through it while clutching your bottle of Angel’s Envy whiskey.
Just make sure to remove the label!
Yeah, that’s the key to the loophole. Gothamist reports that even if police issue you a ticket for public drinking, unless they explicitly write down the brand of alcohol that you’re publicly, shamefully imbibing, the ticket is invalid.
Gothamist spoke with attorney David Rankin who explained that the reason that brand names matter here is because “as a general matter, the police must note on the summons the actual brand of alcohol or do a lab test. The reason for this is the statute says the drink must contain more than 0.005 by volume in order to fall under this law. So, the court must have reason to believe the beverage in question has more than [0.05%] or the summons gets tossed.”
So, basically, as long as you pour your alcohol in a cup, where police can’t tell what kind it is or what the alcohol content might be, you can drink in public whenever and wherever you like! You might get a ticket—which would be a huge hassle—but it WILL be dismissed.
And, as Gothamist further reports, you probably won’t even get a ticket if you’re white! So, good news for white folks! This is because, as Brooklyn Judge Noach Dear noted as he dismissed a public drinking ticket issued to Julio Figueroa, “As hard as I try, I cannot recall ever arraigning a white defendant for such a violation.”
Apparently, after looking at the data on citations for public drinking in Brooklyn, Judge Dear realized that 85% of them are issued to blacks and Latinos!
Wow. That is fucking ridiculous. And yet totally unsurprising. And yet ridiculous. I need to go drink some bourbon now.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen