Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2014

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A guide to downtown Las Vegas’ open container laws

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

A rodeo fan quaffs a beer from a boot shaped glass during the annual Downtown Hoedown at the Fremont Street Experience Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

There’s no single law that covers drinking in downtown Las Vegas, and the mix of legal restrictions has led to confusion as to where people can walk on Fremont Street with an alcoholic beverage in their hand. One place where the law is clear is that drinks purchased from any of the big casinos downtown can be carried and consumed anywhere. “Buy a beer in a casino, and you can walk anywhere with it,” city attorney Brad Jerbic said. “That’s what you get with a tavern license. Bottom line, if you get asked by a police officer where you got that drink, say you got it from a casino. And know that legally, officers cannot ask you to pour out your drink.”

Question: Where did the drink come from?

A: Bar (Griffin, Vanguard, Beauty Bar, etc.)

B: Home

C: Liquor store (ABC Store, Ogden Mart, etc.)

D: Casino (Binions, The D, El Cortez, Etc.)

If you answered A, find out if it is a tavern-limited business. Don't know? Ask the bouncer, bartender or wait staff. If it is a tavern-limited business, you are legal to take your drink outside. If it's not, it's illegal to take your drink outside.

If you answered B, it depends on the type of beverage container the drink is in, kind of. Cans and bottles are illegal to drink outside, as is a red plastic cup, but that's difficult to enforce.

If you answered C, ask yourself: "Self, am I within 1,000 feet of the store where I bought it, or a church, synagogue, public or private school, hospital, withdrawal management facility or homeless shelter?" If the answer is no, drink on. If the answer is yes, you're engaging in illegal activity.

If you answered D, as long as you are taking that drink to the bar district, the Fremont Street Experience or, well, nowhere, you're legal.

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