Social Question

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Why, do you suppose, drinking "in public" is illegal in most states?

Asked by JeanPaulSartre (5779points) March 23rd, 2010

Not that I’m a great proponent of drinking, but It seems like a strange law, where it’s fine to drink in restaurants/bars/clubs, etc – but you can’t walk down the street drinking a beer. Maybe you can’t walk drinking a beer at all, but that’s separate… Then of course you can smoke only outside in public… but not in restaurants or bars (in some states, NY and IL at least.)
What do you suppose is the reasoning behind that sort of law? It’s perfectly acceptable to drink outside in most of Europe as I recall.

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29 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Because the sort of people who sit on street corners drinking are either kids who can’t get into bars or alcholics who can’t afford to drink in bars. It therefore can encourage antisocial behaviour.
I would argue that your claim that it is acceptable in most of europe is wrong. While some countries allow it (Germany does I think), it is illegal in several countries. In the UK it is banned at a local level (some places allow it, some do not) but it is getting more and more common to be banned.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Lightlyseared Interesting… so why not ban public smoking… lots of “kids” smoke outside.

ShiningToast's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre Public Smoking is going down that road.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@ShiningToast Next up – public soda drinking.

mysweetdrream182's avatar

Drinking is like having sex, you do it for pleasure. Now, the question is would you have sex outside in public? So really its just not seen as a socially acceptable act.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@mysweetdrream182 Well it’s only not socially acceptable because we’ve declared it so. I only roller-skate for pleasure, but no one is making a law that it can only be done in roller rinks.

mysweetdrream182's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre I think you missed the point of the analogy.

noyesa's avatar

I think it’s largely because very drunk people are disruptive can cause problems. I think it’s a very flawed reasoning.

bob_'s avatar

Wait, what?

So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong…

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@mysweetdrream182 No, I understood, but I don’t think that’s a good reason to hide it.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@noyesa That was my thought as well.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@bob_ lol – yep that’s it.

ucme's avatar

Sshh speakeasy.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

It’s because of the clowns that cant handle their liquor.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy But they’re still drunk all over the place, so it doesn’t help at all.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@ucme I forgot the secret knock.

CMaz's avatar

Drinking produces drunk people. They are no fun to look at (sort of) and a hazard.

Lve's avatar

Probably because drunk people can be become disruptive? Although I fail to see why it matters if they got drunk in the bar or in the park. The laws against being drunk in public should be enough to handle this.

Trillian's avatar

I’d guess that a few idiots spoiled it for everybody. That’s one reason that I don’t go to bars. People who are sitting around getting drunk are unpredictable. One minute they’re happy, and out of nowhere they want to kick your ass for something the just remembered, or the ass of someone way over there who looked at them the wrong way.
But at least in the bar you expect it, or can guard against it. Can you imagine walking through the park, minding your own business and some slobbering drunk accosts you because you “looked” at him?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Trillian This happens anyway, though. I generally steer clear of anyone weaving instead of walking. Ha!

ucme's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre…& the tiny peephole in the door.

Trillian's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre Good point! hehehehe.

CMaz's avatar

“Can you imagine walking through the park, minding your own business and some slobbering drunk accosts you because you “looked” at him?”

One time coming back from the city, taking the train. Me and my friends were “buzzed’”

We took up half the train car. The other half was another group of friends. All it took was one person, me. Saying the wrong thing.

Let’s just say they had to stop the train. lol :-)

Ok… Everyone started beating up on everyone else. There happen to be an undercover cop in our car. She did nothing. Would have probably got hurt if got involved. It was a bloody mess. We all still laugh about it today. Some 25 years later. And I got my nose broke. lol

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@ChazMaz Oh god was that you?

Trillian's avatar

@ChazMaz Details. I need details. What did you do, you trouble maker scofflaw you? I’ve been there, buzzed that is. As I said before I smoked a lot of pot in high school and dropped more than my share of acid. but the worst I ever did was laugh a lot, and at football games on Friday nights we always ended up being chased on foot by security.
Looking back now, I think they were messing with us. They could have caught us if they wanted to. My girlfriends and I had it down to a science, throwing our purses over two fences in a row, and one foot halfway up, then over, grab purse on downswing, run, repeat… I think security enjoyed watching our gymnastic feats.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

“Still drunk all over the place?” I don’t get it.
You can be arrested for public drunkeness around here.
Drunk people cause a public nuisance for a variety of reasons. We don’t need to encourage it. I fully support the no drinking in public rules around here. It’s really no big inconvenience to go into a pub or go indoors for a beer.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy I know they can be arrested for public intoxication here as well, but I just mean, having a law that only lets them drink indoors isn’t preventing anything. They still will be drunk outside under the pretense of getting home or just for the hell of it.

mrrich724's avatar

I think they should modify the law to allow drinking in public where there are “X” amount of bars/clubs/etc in a given area.

It’s a bitch to go bar hopping sometimes. Bourbon St in New Orleans is a good example (No, it’s not actually legal).

Another good example is Tennessee St in Tallahassee.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Drinking in public is typically addressed by open container laws. These laws prohibit the possession of open containers of alcoholic in public or in motor vehicles.

In seven states it is illegal for the driver to possess an open container, in 36 is illegal for either the driver or a passenger, and in six it is not illegal for either the driver or a passenger to possess an open container of alcoholic beverage.

In many jurisdictions it is illegal for pedestrians to possess an open container.

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