A Brief Guide to Houston’s Walking-While-Drinking Zoning

A BRIEF GUIDE TO HOUSTON’S WALKING-WHILE-DRINKING ZONING Winding Sidewalk, HoustonEver wonder where in our fair city it is and isn’t legal to drink alcohol in public? Writer Nick Panzarella stakes out the boundaries: “We researched the Texas legal code, which states that public drinking is prohibited only in certain areas of state parks and wherever a city has specifically deemed it illegal. In 1994, the City of Houston successfully petitioned to ban drinking in public within the entire Central Business District (the area roughly bounded by Dowling Street and I-45, McGowen Street and Buffalo Bayou). On the one hand, you can’t drink on downtown’s streets, or Midtown’s or EaDo’s. On the other, it’s open season for open containers everywhere else.” That doesn’t condone public intoxication, notes Panzarella. “But there’s no law against strolling Allen Parkway with a Lone Star while taking in the skyline, or sipping margaritas to-go in Eleanor Tinsley Park.” [Houstonia] Photo: Jeff Turner

12 Comment

  • I need a map

  • what about the menil park!!

    I and a lot of people are always drinking there on nice days!!

  • I recently enjoyed a beer with friends while the Waugh Bridge Bats disbursed into the evening.

    I’m interested in before noon on Sunday. I once had a cop tell me it was illegal (while watching marathon runners on Allen Parkway). I believe him incorrect. I cannot purchase it before noon.

  • Silly to include midtown, but I suspect our fine government wanted an excuse to hassle the bums in midtown even though they are likely doing nothing but sitting on the ground drinking.

  • Here is a map: http://www.tabc.state.tx.us/laws/cities/houston.pdf

    Also note that glass containers are not allowed at Hermann Park

  • Obey! -rolling eyes-

  • Thanks, I’ve wondered about this before.

  • These laws are designed to keep the streets safe from criminals…. any upstanding citizen can quietly put vodka in any drink and walk down the street (just keep it to yourself and don’t bother other good upstanding folks).

  • @htownproud In reality there is very little done to hassle bums, rather I feel like I am the one who gets hassled from the bums, sometimes rather aggressively. I also know of a sexual assault from a drunk bum. I am sure there are similar assaults from drunken midtowners, but I also know that if those guys are sitting on the street drunk, they are very likely to be arrested.

  • For some reason, even if this is completely accurate, I presume Houston cops would not be aware of it/would use you holding a beer in your hand as an excuse to hassle you. Anyone successfully try this in full view of cops?

  • How precisely did they get around this for the Super Bowl a few years back? There were several thousand folks drinking plenty of beer walking up and down Main Street downtown.

  • If you’re in a park I’d watch out for the park rules saying “No Alcohol.” Whether that’s a legal prohibition or not, you may be hassled by police.

    I think the source article is wrong. The culture in Houston is different from New Orleans and that is enough to provide a different environment. Just like you won’t see people having sex out in the open like you do at the Eiffel Tower. (At least not regularly)