New Yorkers may have gotten some good news this week, or at least New Yorkers over the age of 21. City officials announced that beginning March 7, Manhattan law enforcers will cease to make arrests for “low-level offenses,” according to Thrillist.
Under these new rule changes, New Yorkers will not be arrested under charges for public consumption of alcohol, public urination, and poor subway behavior like walking in between cars or taking up more than one seat. Yes, public drinking and urination are still illegal and poor subway etiquette is still in bad taste, but now officials will not make arrests on any of these offenses unless it is “necessary for public safety reasons.”
So sipping a bit of a beer on your walk home or walking with an open container will not be persecuted in court. Instead, if deemed inappropriate, the offenses will be slapped with a fine or court summons.
By falling back on low-level offenses, police will have more time to focus more on violent offenders. “Using summonses instead of arrests for low-level offenses is an intuitive and modern solution that will help make sure resources are focused on our main priority: addressing threats to public safety,” Mayor Bill de Blasio stated. He further stated that the reform “will also help safely prevent unnecessary jail time for low-level offenses.”
Sorry party goers: the rule change only applies to those in the Manhattan area. But to those that this applies to, feel free to sneak a couple of sips on your way back from the bodega after March 7.