Can You Really Drink Alcohol in Public in New Orleans? Can You Ride in a Car With an Open Container?
Updated: Sep 28
La. R.S. 26:90 makes it illegal to sell or serve alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of twenty-one years or who is intoxicated.
New Orleans Municipal Code Sec. 54-404 allows anyone to carry an open container of alcohol in the New Orleans French Quarter on the public streets, sidewalks, parks, or public rights-of-way as long as the container is not an opened glass container. Thus, you can carry your alcoholic beverage in the French Quarter in a plastic go-cup or bottle.
The state of Louisiana has an open container law. Open containers of alcohol are illegal in vehicles even in New Orleans. Louisiana does not have a state law prohibiting open containers if you are not in a vehicle.
La. R.S. 32:300(A) makes it unlawful for the operator of a motor vehicle or the passenger in or on a motor vehicle, while the motor vehicle is operated on a public highway or right-of-way, to possess an open alcoholic beverage container, or to consume an alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. La. R.S. 32:300(B)(3)(a) defines an “open alcoholic beverage container” as any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage that is open or has a broken seal, or
whose contents have been partially removed. An open container does not include any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains a frozen alcoholic beverage unless the lid is removed, a straw protrudes therefrom, or the contents of the receptacle have been partially removed.
As a result, Louisiana law strictly prohibits a person from leaving a convenience store, a bar, or a restaurant an open container of alcohol. There is only one exception to this. An open container of alcohol can be carried in a locked glove compartment or behind the last upright seat, or any area not normally occupied by the driver or a passenger in a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk.
This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under federal and/or Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you and/or your family member. © 2016-2020 Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law.