If you like a drink out in the open air where you won’t run afoul of local drinking ordinances, then you may wish to avoid most of the United States; however, there are a few places where this combination of alcohol and fresh air are encouraged: Montana, Missouri, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, and – last, but not least – Nevada, all contain places which allow open-air drinking. Even so, it’s best to apprise yourself of the different areas so you won’t have a need to find an attorney to tutor you in matters such as Nevada Law.
Often, most states forbid possession or consumption of an open container of alcohol in a public place, namely the street. While police in college towns may look away during “tailgate parties” at football games, it’s best not to take a chance. Instead, travel to six states where open containers are legal.
In Savannah, Georgia, it’s permissible to drink one alcoholic beverage in an open plastic container in the Savannah Historic District (but no more than 16 ounces!); however, this is the only area in Savannah where it’s legal.
You might try Butte, Montana, which also doesn’t have an open container ordinance. Drinking in this fashion is allowed throughout the city, but the city does frown on open containers in vehicles. That’s not legal, but once you’re out of the car, you’re safe.
In Kansas City, Missouri, specifically the Power & Light District, a special Missouri state law allows you to get around the city’s laws against open containers, which allows you to possess and consume the beverages in an open plastic container. But be clear on this point: It’s allowed only in that area, and nowhere else in the city.
In New Orleans, Louisiana, you’ll find you may also drink and hold an alcoholic beverage as you roam the city’s iconic bars, such as might be found on Bourbon Street. The drinks just have to be in an open plastic container. In most of the cases cited so far, the drinks are allowed because the states have no public open container law. When that happens, the laws are up to the individual city.
In Fredericksburg, Texas, a small German town, you can drink in open containers in the shopping district of Main Street; however, the drinks are limited to beer or wine. Similar to Fredericksburg’s Main Street and New Orleans French Quarter, Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee is exempt.
The best place, though, to drink openly is in Nevada on the Las Vegas Strip. Unlike any other place, even in Nevada, city law allows you to possess and consume any alcoholic beverage on the street in an open container anytime during the year. The restriction? The container must be plastic for 4th of July and New Year’s Eve (and other days considered special events). Open containers are allowed in the rest of Las Vegas, too, but they’re restricted during some times of the year – except for the Strip, so be sure to check the times in case you roam off the Strip and find yourself in need of a Las Vegas lawyer.