Can You Openly Drink Alcohol in Public In The State of Indiana?
If you have ever attended the West Side Nut Club's Fall Festival in Evansville and wondered if you can legally drink while you are out on Franklin Street, we've got the answer.
Indiana Liquor Laws
Like most states, Indiana has a plethora of laws surrounding the sale, consumption, and transportation of alcohol. For example, it is illegal to sell or transfer alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age of 21. It is also illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the interior cabin of a vehicle.
A person who, knowing that another person is intoxicated, sells, barters, delivers, or gives away an alcoholic beverage to the intoxicated person commits a Class B misdemeanor.
You Cannot Carry In
Another Indiana State law when it comes to alcohol pertains to actual bars and restaurants. It is against the law to carry in an alcoholic beverage to a bar or restaurant. So make sure you aren't trying to walk into your favorite tavern with a cold one in your hand. But what about carrying a drink out and walking down the sidewalk?
It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person who owns or operates a private or public restaurant or place of public or private entertainment to knowingly or intentionally permit another person to come into the establishment with an alcoholic beverage for sale or gift, or for consumption in the establishment by that person or another, or to serve a setup to a person who comes into the establishment.
Carrying Out and Open Containers
As it turns out, as strict as Indiana liquor laws are, there are no laws in place that prohibit you from publicly carrying an open container. According to a 2018 article from the IndyStar, some bars and restaurants may have personal policies preventing you from walking out the door with a beer or cocktail in your hand. The article says,
Indiana actually has no restrictions on the open carrying of alcohol in public spaces. Patrons are allowed to carry an alcoholic beverage in its original container out of a premise and consume it on the sidewalks. However, the premise may not allow drinks to be carried out as part of its policy.
Evansville's Fall Festival
Not only does the state of Indiana permit the open carry and consumption of alcohol in public, but there are also no local regulations in place for Vanderburgh County or the city of Evansville prohibiting it either. So what does this mean for the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival? You can drink openly while you enjoy all of the deep-fried goodness. However, both event organizers and local law enforcement do ask that if you are going to drink in public at the Fall Festival that you forego any glass containers and opt for aluminum or plastic. You also will want to be sure that you allow yourself time to sober up before getting behind the wheel of your vehicle, have a designated driver or call a cab or ride-share service.
Other Indiana Liquor Laws You Should Know
There are a handful of other laws in the state of Indiana pertaining to alcohol sales and consumption that you may not know. Here are just a few:
- Prior to March 2018, it was illegal to buy or sell alcohol on Sundays in the state of Indiana but that law has been revised. Sales are now allowed on Sundays between the hours of noon and 8 pm.
- Happy-Hour is a no-go. Bars and restaurants are allowed to run special discounts on drinks, but discounts can not be given during a specific window of time. The discounted price must be in effect during all hours of operation for the day.
- You can purchase alcohol on Election Day after the law was changed back in 2010.
- You can purchase alcohol on Christmas after the law was changed in 2015.
- Drinking and operating an electric scooter, kayak, canoe, boat, or any other motorized watercraft is illegal and can result in being ticketed for Driving Under the Influence.
[Source: iga.in.gov; IndyStar.com]
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