Public Drinking in NYC Will No Longer Land You in Jail (Probably)

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By F&W Editors Posted March 02, 2016

It could, however, lead to a summons. 

Botttoms up, New Yorkers; this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio quietly decriminalized public drinking in Manhattan, according to the Observer. From now on, the NYPD will no longer arrest people who commit certain types of minor infractions—drinking in public among them—unless it’s “necessary for public safety reasons." Instead of going to jail, people caught drinking at, say, Central Park on a beautiful day, may instead get a summons, which would likely lead to a fine. 

“Using summonses instead of arrests for low-level offenses is an intuitive and modern solution that will help make sure resources are focused on our main priority: addressing threats to public safety,” de Blasio said in a statement, per the Observer. “Today’s reforms allow our hardworking police officers to concentrate their efforts on the narrow group of individuals driving violent crime in New York City. This plan will also help safely prevent unnecessary jail time for low-level offenses.”

Among the other offenses on the list of those no longer being prosecuted include: Public urination, riding between subway cars, and taking up more than one seat on the subway. Presumably, those crimes—ahem, manspreading—will still be prosecuted vigorously in the court of public opinion. 

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