Visiting Las Vegas is like going to a party that’s happening both inside and outside at the same time. This leads many to wonder if you can drink alcohol on the street when you’re here?
Little legislation is on the books when it comes to open container alcohol consumption in Vegas, though there are exceptions that visitors should be aware of to stay on the right side of the law. So, can you drink alcohol on the street in Las Vegas?
Yes, you can drink alcohol on the street in Las Vegas as the city does not have an open container law. Some restrictions apply when it comes to the type of containers allowed and the proximity to certain buildings. However, publicly carrying and consuming an open container of alcohol is legal in Las Vegas.
Next to gambling, alcohol consumption is considered a favorite pastime for Las Vegas visitors. Also, it’s a huge source of revenue for Vegas businesses. As such, the rules for public drinking, both on and off the Vegas Strip, are more relaxed than many other vacation spots.
Even so, Las Vegas visitors should be aware of and follow the alcohol laws in place.
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What are the Drinking Laws in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas has very few restrictive rules when it comes to drinking. Nevada has designated that the Vegas area does not have an open alcohol container law—with some important legal exceptions (source).
There are three primary drinking laws in Las Vegas that you should be aware of.
- You must be 21 years of age or older to drink.
- Drinking an alcoholic beverage is prohibited within 1,000 feet of all schools, places of worship, hospitals, homeless shelters, and substance management facilities.
- It is illegal to carry beverages, alcoholic or otherwise, in glass containers on the Strip. Plastic is allowed. This restriction is designed to prevent broken glass from littering the streets and walkways, in addition to limiting violence committed with broken bottles.
Visitors should keep in mind the drinking restrictions as well as the fact that they are responsible for their own proper and legal conduct at all times.
Violating any drinking laws or restrictions can result in serious prosecution and punishment.
Can You Openly Drink on the Vegas Strip?
The Las Vegas Strip is the most popular attraction in town for visitors. The Strip, aka Las Vegas Boulevard, is a stretch of road along where many famous resort hotels, casinos, restaurants, and shops are located.
Ironically, the Vegas Strip is technically not in the city of Las Vegas. It is positioned in Clark County, and subject to state and local legislation there.
You can openly drink on the Vegas Strip, as long as you abide by a few legal restrictions and conform with implied responsible behavior rules.
You must be 21 or older, a proper distance away from prohibited buildings and areas, and you must not be using a glass container. In addition, even though open containers are legal on the Strip, you should still drink responsibly.
Tip: As you might imagine hangovers are a regular thing here in Las Vegas. You might want to prepare by picking up this little hangover cure at amazon before your trip. Hundreds of reviewers swear by it.
Can You Drink on Fremont Street?
Fremont Street is another popular attraction for Vegas visitors. Fremont Street is an entertainment district located in the historic section of downtown Las Vegas.
When it comes to open container rules on Fremont Street, the same laws apply as on the Strip with a few added restrictions.
- No glass containers or aluminum cans are allowed on Fremont Street
- No open containers are allowed if the alcohol was not purchased within the Fremont Street area
- Open containers are allowed only when in a plastic or paper container
- Open containers are allowed only when legally purchased from a Fremont Street bar, restaurant, or casino
Ultimately, for those who wish to drink on Fremont Street, they should plan to buy their alcohol within that area only. Some visitors may object to the limitation of buying their alcohol on Fremont Street.
The rules are enforced so that Fremont Street businesses that are licensed to sell liquor have fair access to the revenue from alcohol sales.
Can You Bring Outside Drinks into Casinos in Vegas?
Most Vegas casinos won’t object to patrons bringing in outside drinks. They are hoping that your money will be spent on gambling while inside, which is partially the reason that casinos have a reputation for supplying their gamblers with free beer and cocktails.
(Check out our article “Are Drinks Free in Las Vegas Casinos” here.)
However, there may be objections if visitors decide to bring their outside drinks into areas of the casino that contain a bar, club, or restaurant. This is because these establishments are licensed to sell and serve their own liquor.
Bringing outside drinks into these areas can lead to less revenue from alcohol sales, and potentially dirty looks from the staff.
Can You Bring Alcohol into Las Vegas Hotels?
Technically, you can bring alcohol into Las Vegas hotels under certain circumstances and in certain areas. For example, most hotels enforce strict policies that do not allow patrons to bring outside alcohol into the pool areas, no matter the container.
In addition, as with the casinos, hotels may restrict carrying alcohol into liquor licensed places such as the hotel bar, club, shops, and restaurants.
However, hotel guests are allowed to bring alcohol into their hotel rooms. Most travel experts agree that discretion and consideration are key when carrying alcohol into Las Vegas hotels. That being said, many tourists visit a liquor store upon arrival and bring packaged alcohol back to their hotel rooms.
Any disturbance caused by guests or staff would be detrimental to the hotel’s reputation, and alcohol is sure to exacerbate the situation.
Can You Drink in a Cab or Uber?
Nevada’s open container law technically exempts motor vehicles that are intended for transporting individuals in exchange for monetary compensation. This would include cabs since they charge fares for transportation.
Therefore, passengers can assume that it is legal to drink in a taxi when in Las Vegas. However, cab drivers for some companies may restrict the consumption of alcohol in their vehicles due to independent company policies.
Technically, Uber would fall under the state law exemption as well. Uber’s conduct code stipulates that open containers of alcohol are not permitted in vehicles unless specifically allowed by state law.
Therefore, passengers can assume that it is legal to drink in an Uber when in Las Vegas. However, since Uber is privately owned, the company can set its own policies when it comes to restricting alcohol consumption in their vehicles, as can individual Uber drivers.
For those Vegas visitors who wish to drink in a cab or Uber, it’s advisable to check with all drivers beforehand even though it may be legal by state law.
Most drivers reserve the right to restrict alcohol consumption in their vehicles and can refuse service on this basis.
Las Vegas is known to many as “Sin City,” and considered a sanctioned place for party culture since what happens here supposedly stays here.
The resorts, hotels, casinos, and other businesses certainly want you to have a good time—and spend your money. However, this doesn’t mean that there are no rules or laws present.
Whether you are a resident or visitor, it’s important to know what’s legally allowed and what isn’t.
In addition, there are many areas of Las Vegas that have transitioned more towards including and welcoming families with children. This should also be a consideration for Vegas behavior when in more family-friendly locations.
Due to the relaxed drinking rules in Las Vegas, there is a strong presence of law enforcement in order to maintain public peace and appropriate conduct. Violators can face punishments from monetary fines to arrest if they take public intoxication too far.
Therefore, visitors must remember that though they can drink in public, for the most part, they are still responsible for their orderly behavior when in Vegas.
You may also be interested in reading my article about whether Las Vegas is considered a city or a state.
Can you drink on the deuce (bus line) in Las Vegas? No, you are not allowed to drink on the deuce. According to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), you must refrain from drinking (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) beverages on the bus.
You may transport drinks on the bus as long as they are in a sealed container that won’t spill.
Can you drink at midnight on your 21st birthday in Vegas? Yes, absolutely. Once the clock ticks past midnight and you have officially turned 21 years old you will be able to drink alcohol in Las Vegas.
Can you drink the tap water in Las Vegas? You can find the answer to this question in our article here.