Realistically, a day doesn't pass in New York without seeing someone not-so-secretly drinking on the street or subway. Everybody loves drinking outside -- it's just prudent New Yorkers stick to patios and rooftops for fear of being arrested. But now, that policy's changing, and the city won't even arrest you just for cracking open a cold one in public. Really.
City officials quietly announced Tuesday that starting March 7th, you won't be arrested for certain low-level offenses in Manhattan, such as public consumption of alcohol, public urination, and crappy subway behavior like riding between cars and taking up more than one seat, unless police deem it "necessary for public safety reasons." Additionally, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance will no longer prosecute such low-level infractions, meaning getting caught sipping a beer on your walk home from a bodega, for example, will be a significantly less serious offense, according to a report by Gizmodo.
To be clear, it's still against the law to drink in public under the new policy, but now, you might get slapped with a summons and fine instead of ending up in cuffs -- in Manhattan only. In other words, New York isn't about to transform into a boozy party full of go-cups and lax laws like New Orleans. Instead, city officials said the changes are designed to free up police and criminal justice resources used on low-level offenses so they can be allocated to focus more on violent crime. Somewhere, Rudy Giuliani is pouring one out for his broken windows policy.