Besides gambling, drinking in Las Vegas is arguably the most popular tourist attraction. Due to the wide number of bars and casinos here, state laws designate the Las Vegas area as one of the few places without an open container law in the United States. Before you take to the Vegas streets with an alcoholic beverage, however, you need to understand the caveats and exceptions to the Las Vegas open container laws.
Laws within the Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas have different rules regarding open containers and public drinking. The Strip stretches across the towns of Paradise and Winchester, Nevada – not the city of Las Vegas proper. Therefore, open containers and public drinking are subject to the laws of Clark County, which allow open containers in both the Strip and Las Vegas with a few exceptions.
What the Law Says
It is completely legal to have an open container of alcohol if you’re walking along the Las Vegas Strip. As of September 2014, however, a new law in Las Vegas was set to prohibit people from carrying alcohol in a glass container. You cannot carry a glass container of anything on the Strip, even nonalcoholic beverages. This prevents broken glass on the streets and protects citizens from injuries while walking.
Another exception to the open container rule is that all people carrying an open container of alcohol have to be at least 21 years of age, even if he or she is not consuming the beverage. While the law allows walking with an open container on the streets, driving with an open container of alcohol or riding public transportation with one is strictly prohibited.
When it comes to taxi services, the rules surrounding open containers vary depending on the company. Ask your driver about that particular company’s rules before entering a taxi or limo with an open container of alcohol. Charter services such as party buses and limousines, however, have special permits that allow open containers. Obey the rules of the limousine, such as how to dispose of empty containers.
Open containers of alcohol are not allowed within 1,000 feet of a place of worship, a school, a hospital, or a homeless shelter. You also can’t consume alcohol on the premises if you buy it in a closed container. If you purchase an alcoholic beverage in a container that needs to be popped, twisted, or otherwise opened, you have to be at least 1,000 feet away from the premises where you bought the drink.
If you purchase an alcoholic drink in a container that’s already opened, such as in a plastic cup, it’s legal to drink the beverage in public as long as it’s not in a glass bottle. Keep in mind that although it’s legal to have open containers in Las Vegas, the police can still arrest you for disorderly conduct or a similar offense.
Arrested for Alcohol-Related Offenses in Las Vegas?
Nevada police officers strictly enforce alcohol-related laws due to the high volume of drinking that occurs in Las Vegas and the Strip. Understand what you can and can’t do in Las Vegas to better your chances of abiding by the law and staying out of legal trouble. If you do find yourself accused of an alcohol-related offense, seek the help of a lawyer right away.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas, open container in the wrong part of town, underage drinking, or any other alcohol-related offense in Las Vegas, you need expert legal representation to defend your case in court. If you’ve been fined or detained due to drinking on the Strip or disorderly conduct, you have rights. Contact a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer at De Castroverde Law Group for a free case evaluation.