Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–1001. Drinking of alcoholic beverage in public place prohibited; intoxication prohibited.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, no person in the District shall drink an alcoholic beverage or possess in an open container an alcoholic beverage in or upon any of the following places:

(1) A street, alley, park, sidewalk, or parking area;

(2) A vehicle in or upon any street, alley, park, or parking area;

(3) A premises not licensed under this title where food or nonalcoholic beverages are sold or entertainment is provided for compensation;

(4) Any place to which the public is invited and for which a license to sell alcoholic beverages has not been issued under this title;

(5) Any place to which the public is invited for which a license to sell alcoholic beverages has been issued under this title at a time when the sale of alcoholic beverages on the premises is prohibited by this title or by the regulations promulgated under this title; or

(6) Any place licensed under a club license at a time when the consumption of the alcoholic beverages on the premises is prohibited by this title or by regulations promulgated under this title.

(b) Subsection (a)(1) of this section shall not apply if drinking or possession of an alcoholic beverage occurs:

(1) In or on a structure that projects upon the parking, and which is an integral, structural part of a private residence, such as a front porch, terrace, bay window, or vault, by, or with the permission of, the owner or resident; or

(2) At an event licensed by the Board.

(c) No person, whether in or on public or private property, shall be intoxicated and endanger the safety of himself, herself, or any other person or property.

(d) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) or (c) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01], or imprisoned for not more than 60 days, or both.

(e) Any person in the District who is intoxicated in public and who is not conducting himself or herself in such manner as to endanger the safety of himself, herself, or of any other person or of property shall be treated in accordance with Chapter 6 of Title 24.


(Jan. 24, 1934, 48 Stat. 333, ch. 4, § 28; Aug. 27, 1935, 49 Stat. 901, 902, ch. 756, §§ 13, 14; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 104, ch. 159, § 404(h); Aug. 3, 1968, 82 Stat. 618, Pub. L. 90-452, § 2(a); Sept. 29, 1982, D.C. Law 4-157, § 13, 29 DCR 3617; Dec. 3, 1985, D.C. Law 6-64, § 2, 32 DCR 5970; Mar. 26, 1999, D.C. Law 12-206, § 2(b), 45 DCR 8430; May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 284(d), 60 DCR 2064; July 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-126, § 406, 61 DCR 3482; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-260, § 2(h)(1), 64 DCR 2079.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 25-128.

1973 Ed., § 25-128.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 24-604.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “not more than $500” in (d).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-126 substituted “60 days” for “90 days” in (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(c) of the Alcoholic Beverage Control DC Arena Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-121, August 1, 1997, 44 DCR 4645), § 2(c) of the Alcoholic Beverage Control DC Arena Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-174, October 30, 1997, 44 DCR 6915), and § 2(c) of the Alcoholic Beverage Control DC Arena Congressional Recess Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-290, February 27, 1998, 45 DCR 1749).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(c) of D.C. Law 12-48, in (a), designated the existing text as (1) and added a new (2) to read as follows:

“(2) No person shall bring, or have in his or her possession, anywhere on the premises of the DC Arena, including space referred to in § 25-111(a) (7) (G-1), any container used to hold or store beverages or liquids of any kind, including, but not limited to, bottles and cans. This section shall not apply to a person duly authorized or licensed by the Board to possess, sell, give away, transport, or store alcoholic beverages or containers on the premises of the DC Arena, or to any employee or agency acting for any such duly authorized or licensed person, or to any container provided on the premises of the DC Arena by the lessee or its concessionaires and tenants.”

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 12-48 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.

Section 501 of D.C. Law 20-126 provided that the Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of the act.