KEY LAWS TO KNOW ABOUT ALCOHOL IN THE U.S. Alcohol related laws vary widely from state to state and even city to city. For example, New Orleans is famous for its lenient alcohol laws, including allowing drinking in public (while most locations ban drinking in public). Manhattan recently "decriminalized" drinking in public, meaning that it won't get you arrested but you can still get a fine for it. Here you will find information on laws relating to when and where you can buy alcohol in each state. And here you can find out about laws about whether you can drink in public. Drink responsibly!