Baton Rouge’s Spanish Town Parade is famous for flamboyant costumes and off-color humor. It’s not a family friendly parade, but it can be a good time if you don’t have any political sensitivity, and don’t mind innuendo just short of public obscenity.
Public Drinking at the Spanish Town Parade
Based on the many police reports I read while deciding what charges to press on people arrested at or around parades, it appears that the police generally take a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to public drinking at the Spanish Town Parade. Citations for public drinking and the like generally result from people who can’t hold their liquor, or who are antagonistic to other parade goers, or to the police.
However, after the disasters of 2016, we should anticipate that security will be ramped up in 2017, and the “hands-off” approach of the past can’t be counted on.
How to Have a Good Time and Not Get Arrested
With that in mind, here are some safety tips:
- If you’re going to the parades, don’t drink in public.
- If you must drink in public, don’t advertise your drinking.
- Under no circumstances should you be smoking marijuana in public. Alcohol is legal, marijuana is not – alcohol may be forgiven, marijuana is an invitation to further search and scrutiny.
- Don’t carry a weapon, even if you’ve got a concealed carry permit, because the concealed carry permit doesn’t work at “A parade or demonstration for which a permit is issued by a governmental entity.” (See La. R.S. 40:1379.3(N)(9))
- If you find yourself next to a person or group which appears to be fighting, or getting ready to fight, depart the area immediately and call 911 to report the description and location of the disturbance.
- Finally, if you are intoxicated, don’t drive yourself home. Call a cab, or a ride service, or sleep it off in your car (with the engine off to avoid confusion about operation of the vehicle).
Have fun, get lots of good throws, and have a drink if you like, but be aware, and be prepared.
(Standard Disclaimer: this is not meant to be legal advice, and should not be used as legal advice. Every person’s situation is different, and the answer changes radically based on circumstances. If you need legal advice, call and make an appointment, so that an attorney can review your situation, and give you actual advice. Reading a blog post doesn’t make you my client.)