Mississippi’s alcohol laws are quite complex. This is largely due to the fact that the state gives tremendous freedom to local counties and municipalities when it comes to creating and enforcing their own alcohol regulations. Essentially, the local authorities get to decide for themselves which rules they wish to follow. An example of this is public drinking. Many residents find public drinking laws incredibly frustrating. This is especially true if they are engaging in innocent behavior, such as enjoying a cold beer or a glass of wine at a park while having a picnic. The exact laws on public drinking vary from state to state.
Mississippi is Unique When it Comes to Alcohol Laws
Mississippi has a long and interesting history when it comes to alcohol laws. Traditionally, the Magnolia State has been a supporter of prohibition since the 1800s. In 1839, the state banned the purchase of more than one gallon of alcohol at any time. Further laws were created over the next few decades.
Mississippi was one of the first states to pass prohibition in 1908, and they kept it in place even after the 21st Amendment stopped the practice in 1933. Finally, Mississippi repealed its prohibition law in 1966. But still, they allowed individual counties to continue to ban the sale of alcohol if they wanted. Then in 2020, the possession of alcohol in every county was legalized.
It is Only Illegal if You are Intoxicated
Essentially, there is no real law against public drinking in Mississippi. In fact, you can even drink alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, as the state has no open container laws. With all that being said, public intoxication is illegal. In addition, you will still be charged with a DUI if you are over the legal limit, whatever the case may be.
The law against public intoxication is known as “profanity or drunkenness in public place.” It states that anyone who is drunk in a public place in the presence of two or more people is guilty of a crime against public morals and decency. The penalty for this offense is a fine of up to $100 and a jail sentence of up to 30 days. In addition, it is always illegal to be intoxicated on public transit in Mississippi.
Again, these laws may vary from county to county. It may be illegal to drive with an open container in one county, but you could still be charged with a crime if you drive across county lines into another area where different laws are enforced.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We have considerable experience with criminal cases in the Magnolia State, and we can help you avoid any potential consequences you might be facing. Alcohol laws in Mississippi can be confusing, and this is why it is helpful to work with a lawyer who can explain these matters clearly. Book your consultation today, and we can develop an effective defense strategy together.