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Many people consider summer to be the best time of year. For most students, it's two months of freedom from classrooms and homework. And, while working adults don't have the same luxury of freedom, it's still a fun time with longer days and weekends filled with days at the beach, BBQs, and outdoor events with friends and family. But, the beautiful weather and outdoor fun don't mean that criminal laws take a break, particularly when it comes to alcohol-related crimes.
More specifically, the prohibitions against drinking in public so include parks and beaches. One more to keep in mind: it's just as illegal to drive a boat under the influence as it is to drive. Let's take a closer look.
Drinking in Public is Illegal, Even at Parks and Beaches
While people generally know that drinking while walking around most cities is illegal, many seem to assume that it's legal on beaches or in parks. But, whether or not indulging in a beer or cocktail at the park or beach is legal depends on the open container laws in that area. And, no, that brown paper bag doesn't make drinking suddenly legal.
It's also important to remember that even if local laws permit drinking at a park or beach, public intoxication is usually still a crime. So, if it turns out that you've been blessed with visiting a park or beach that actually allows drinking alcohol, don't ruin it by overindulging.
Boating Under the Influence Is a Crime
It's common knowledge that driving under the influence is illegal, and most people try to avoid drinking and driving. But, people may not be as careful about boating under the influence. It's important to remember that most states have the same BAC limit for boating as they do for driving. And unfortunately, if you're out on a boat, or that's your way of getting home from a bar or restaurant, there's no ride-sharing or taxi option. As on dry land, a designated driver is always a good option.
It's best to be responsible when drinking in the summer or any other time of year, but sometimes mistakes happen. If you've been charged with an alcohol-related crime, it's best to discuss your case with a local criminal defense attorney.