Consumption of Alcohol in the Street
By far and away the king of all summonses in New York City is the summons issued for Consumption of Alcohol in the Street. The good news regarding this summons is that, unlike many of the most common summonses issued, it is NOT A CRIME. Consumption of Alcohol in the Street is a non criminal offense.
Text of Statute with Key Definitions:
§ 10-125. Consumption of alcohol on streets prohibited. a. Definitions. Whenever used in this section, the following terms are defined as follows:
1. Alcoholic beverage. Any liquid intended for human consumption containing more than one-half of one percent (.005) of alcohol by volume.
2. Public place. A place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access including, but not limited to, any highway, street, road, sidewalk, parking area, shopping area, place of amusement, playground, park or beach located within the city except that the definition of a public place shall not include those premises duly licensed for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises or within their own private property. Such public place shall also include the interior of any stationary motor vehicle which is on any highway, street, road, parking area, shopping area, playground, park or beach located within the city.
(THE ACTUAL PROHIBITED ACT:) No person shall drink or consume an alcoholic beverage, or possess, with intent to drink or consume, an open container containing an alcoholic beverage in any public place except at a block party, feast or similar function for which a permit has been obtained.
Possession of an open container containing an alcoholic beverage by any person shall create a rebuttable presumption that such person did intend to consume the contents thereof in violation of this section.
(Note - this provision means that the police officer need not see you actually drinking anything to give you the summons. He can give you the summons based on this presumption, although you are free to try to defeat that presumption at a trial.)
Starting in 2005, the New York City Criminal Court system began to permit mailing in these summonses along with a guilty plea and a check for $25. Originally starting only in Queens, this program has expanded to all five boroughs. Occasionally, the police will provide a special form to send in the ticket with payment and plea of guilty, but not always.
It is possible that if the police forgot to provide the proper form, that you can obtain this form from the Court Clerk at the Courthouse where you are supposed to appear for the ticket.
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Related New York Criminal Court Links
The following are links to related sites with more information about pinks summons cases or information about other aspects of the New York Criminal Justice System, including a link to webcrims, a way to check online where and when your case (including pink summons matter) is pending: