Last year, during the lightning round section of a Mayoral debate we co-hosted, each candidate was asked: "Should you be free to drink a beer on your own stoop?" Then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio answered with a simple "Yes," as did everyone except Erick Salgado. And now that de Blasio is our Mayor, and fully capable of Making It So, we have to ask: When will it be legal to crack a cold one open on our stoop, Mayor? Because Stoop Drinking Season has arrived!
The moment was caught on tape, so there's no going back (NY Code - Section 4225-D: No Backsies).
However, we've made several inquiries over the past few months to the Mayor's Press Office regarding the progress of explicitly legalizing stoop drinking, and have been met with total silence. And there remains considerable debate over whether the NYC administrative code on public boozing even applies to stoops—the language of the law defines a "public place" thus:
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.
A stoop, as opposed to a sidewalk, would appear to be part of private property. But good luck arguing the semantics of "public place" with the officer writing your summons. Should you find yourself in this position, keep this brand loophole in mind: if you get ticketed, the officer is supposed to note on the summons the actual brand of alcohol or do a lab test. If they do not, you could be in the clear.