What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, including how the drinking laws work.
Unlike other states, the city of Las Vegas employs a unique set of rules concerning the drinking of beverages, specifically the alcoholic kind. While some rules remain solidly in step with national drinking laws such as driving under the influence ranks as a serious offense in Nevada, other rules and restrictions may appear to be a bit different.
21 Means 21
First and foremost, do not forget this one simple but ever-so-crucial rule of “Las Vegas Drinking Rules.” You have to be at least 21 years old to legally drink in the state of Nevada, and since Las Vegas exists within Nevada, you’ve got to be 21 to enjoy a drink in Las Vegas.
If you aren’t 21 or older, don’t try it; the penalties for underage drinking in the state of Nevada can include six months in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, and pretrial diversion programs that can include community service, additional fines, and possible mental health evaluation and counseling.
For everyone else, keep your identification handy at all times. Be prepared to show proof that ou are of the the legal drinking age. Las Vegas relies on its popular tourism attractions and restaurants, bars, and casinos will not risk their liquor license over underage/illegal drinking in their establishments.
Las Vegas Allows You to Take Your Drink Outside
If you happen to be enjoying a drink in a bar on the Vegas Strip and feel the need to step outside for some fresh air, here’s some different news: in Las Vegas, you can take your drink outside with you.
In fact, you can have an open container of alcohol out in public for a good portion of the city of Las Vegas. Some exceptions exist, of course such as you can’t have an open container within 1,000 feet of any religious buildings, schools, or hospitals. Also some areas will require that the open container be purchased from a local merchant in that area.
If you’re planning on taking the open container outside, you may not be able to just bring one down from your hotel room. Check with your hotel before taking that drink outside for a walk.
Buy, Then Walk On By
This one may seem a little confusing at first, but roll with it: if you purchase liquor in a closed container from a liquor store or other licensed merchant, you cannot crack open the container and start sipping until you’ve exited the premises and put about 1,000 feet between you and the building you just bought the liquor from.
Why the distance requirement? Because a closed liquor container or can of beer technically does not qualify as an open container when you first purchase it. Draft beer and liquor drinks get classified as an open container because the server behind the bar has to pour the drink before serving it.
But once you purchase the closed container, just step outside the store and hike a thousand feet in any direction before responsibly enjoying your purchase.
Buy Some Plastic Cups
Glass beverage containers cannot be carried outdoors on the Strip. This rule applies to all types of beverages, not just alcoholic beverages, either. If you buy a soda in a glass bottle, you’ll need to pour it into a plastic cup or other non glass container.
This rule went into place to discourage people from discarding glass containers on the ground. Shattered glass posed a danger to residents and visitors to Las Vegas and the city did not want any harm to continue from this type of reckless littering.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Do not drink and drive. Driving while under the influence is against the law in Las Vegas. Instead, if you have the means, enjoy drinks responsibly in the back of a limousine as you tool around the many attraction of Las Vegas.
And one final rule, please enjoy responsibly. Las Vegas is a wonderful city to visit so do not overdo and spend your time in your hotel toilet.
If you do run into trouble in Las Vegas whether for DUI or some other criminal activity, contact Shahani Law firm today. Jherna Shahani is an experienced and compassionate Las Vegas Criminal Defense attorney who can provide you the help you need. Call 702-625-7551.