Public Drinking During Mardi Gras: Laws You Need To Know
Are you wondering about public drinking during Mardi Gras? Great! This post will explain everything you need to know.
Mardis Gras is a unique event not quite like any other. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is even more special. Each year thousands of people from all over the world come to the city on the great Mississippi River to enjoy all that the holiday has to offer.
PLEASE NOTE: Mardi Gras parades are experiencing major changes due to COVID-19. Parade dates are being moved and virtual parades will be available. Read more on this page here!
One thing that most have in common during Mardi Gras is the consumption of alcohol. While alcohol is part of the fun of Mardi Gras, everyone who attends needs to be aware of the local laws regarding imbibing alcoholic drinks during their visit. In this article, we will take a look at laws surrounding public drinking in New Orleans and what you need to know.
Everyone is Subject to Local Public Drinking Laws
Most people understand this, but it is still important to point out. Some tourists tend to think that local laws do not apply to them. It does. Just because you are visiting and spending your hard-earned money in New Orleans doesn’t mean you do not have to follow the local public drinking laws.
Law enforcement in New Orleans are experts at keeping civility and drunken party-goers under control, They also show a great deal of tolerance for the things that come with large crowds of drinkers. There will be lines you cannot cross, however. This is also true during special times such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Just because the scenarios of life may change, the laws remain the same.
Drunkenness is A Crime
Public intoxication is a crime in New Orleans as it is in most places in the U.S. As mentioned the police in New Orleans will show patience with most people, knowing they are having a good time. If someone becomes a danger to themselves or others, however, they will find themselves arrested and charged with public intoxication. In these such events, hiring a reputable New Orleans criminal attorney is really your best bet.
Plastic Containers Must Be Used
Drinking alcohol while walking along the streets of the French Quarter area is legal in New Orleans. Those who are partaking must have alcohol in plastic containers. Drinking alcohol from containers such as glass is illegal. When purchasing a drink at a bar make sure your drink is in a plastic container before moving into the street.
The Drinking Age Is 21 Years Old
Another way to find yourself in trouble during Mardi Gras is to drink while underage. The only exception is if you are 18 years old and in the presence of a guardian or spouse who is over the age limit themselves. If you are under the age of 21 and expect to drink publicly in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, you will need to reconsider as you may likely find yourself ticketed or jailed.
Open Container Are Not Allowed in Cars
Planning on jumping in your car with an open container? Don’t. Even if you are not driving, no one in a car may have an open container of alcohol inside of a car in New Orleans. If you find yourself back at your vehicle after a night of partying make sure any passengers drink up or throw away any remaining beverages before getting into the car. You don’t want to be hit with a DWI in New Orleans or find yourself arrested for such reckless behavior.
While some bars have a closing time in New Orleans, many are open 24 hours. While legal, this can lead to excessive drinking for a lot of people since they simply don’t know when to go home. Be aware of this during Mardi Gras as time has a way of slipping by for you and your friends. Someone in our group may overdo it.
Only Use Restrooms
We all know that a night of drinking can lead to having to relieve yourself many times during the night. Although this is not a law about drinking in public, it is connected to it just the same. If you find yourself needing to go to the restroom during Mardi Gras find a restroom. Public urination is a good way to find yourself in jail.
What to Do if Arrested During Mardi Gras
Those who travel to New Orleans to partake in the Mardi Gras celebrations usually are only looking to have a good time. Some find themselves in trouble for violating public drinking and other laws during their visit. If this happens, you may find yourself charged. This charge could result in a ticket or taking a ride to jail.
PRO TIP: Read these tips to handle a DWI in New Orleans. They’ll give you some great info that will really help!
Either way, it is a good idea to contact a local lawyer if you have been charged with an alcohol-related crime during your time in New Orleans. Local attorneys are experienced with defending persons arrested during Mardi Gras and best know how to help clients who have been charged.
A great firm that deals with many such cases is Barkemeyer Law Firm. They have several locations, however their New Orleans location is at 422 S Broad Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119. Barkemeyer Law Firm handles many cases of public drinking and intoxication during Mardi Gras and can help you out if you need representation.
If you find yourself or a friend in legal trouble while attending Mardi Gras contact an attorney for advice on how to handle the charge. We hope you better understand public drinking during Mardi Gras and wish you the best.