Know the Law: On
 Drinking in Plattsburgh

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This information was prepared by the City of Plattsburgh Police Department in response to the numerous inquiries from students at the high school and college level concerning local and state laws which relate to the purchase of alcohol.  Also included are several laws commonly violated by people under the influence of alcohol.  Please be advised that these laws are subject to change at any time.

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206-2.  Unnecessary Noise Unlawful

It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully make or continue, or cause to be made or continued, or permit t be made or continued, on any premises he owns or leases any unnecessary noise which causes annoyance to any reasonable person of normal sensitivity residing in the area.

206-3.  Certain Acts Declared to be Violations

The following acts are declared to be in violation of this chapter:

A.  Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, tape recorder, sound amplifier, musical instrument or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound:

   (1) In a residential district in such a manner that the sound is plainly audible at the boundary of the property on which the sound is produced.

   (2) In a commercial district in such a manner that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of fifty (50) feet from the boundary of the property on which the sound is produced.

   (3) At any time within a commercial structure within when the exterior doors, windows and entranceways of such commercial structures are left open.

   (4) In a motor vehicle on a public right-of-way or public space in such a manner that sound is plainly audible at a distance of fifty (50) feet from the source of sound.

B.  Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing on public streets within residential districts of the City of Plattsburgh so as to annoy or disturb the peace, quiet, comfort or repose of a reasonable person of normal sensitivity who resides in the vicinity of the noise.

C.  The operation of a motor vehicle on public streets which is not equipped with a muffler or other device which effectively prevents the discharge of loud or explosive noises.

D.  The operation of a motor vehicle on public streets in such a manner that the tires of the vehicle emit unnecessary noise.

If you attempt to use an altered drivers license or use the license of another to gain entry into a bar or purchase alcohol, you will be in violation of the following section.


509-6.  Violations.

Possession Altered or Forged License

No licensee shall voluntarily permit any other person to use his license, nor shall any person at any time possess or use any forged, fictitious or illegally obtained license, or use any license belonging to another person.

Possession of Alcohol Under the Age of 21
If you possess or consume alcohol under the age of 21 you are in violation of Section 65-C of the ABC Law.  We also have a city ordinance that prohibits open containers of alcohol in a  public place anywhere in the city.

These laws are violations and will result in either a physical arrest or an appearance ticket being issued depending on what law was violated.

Do not plan on an appearance ticket being issued on all arrests for the above violations.   This type of summons is not always utilized in all arrests.  A physical arrest is still a possibility in the above.  The particular violation and the circumstances surrounding the arrest will dictate the action taken.


The following city ordinances are aimed at parties that cater to large groups, or individuals, who make unreasonable noise and disturb their neighborhood.

The most common violated Penal Law Arrests are listed for your information:

240.20.  Disorderly Conduct

A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof,

1.  He engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or

2.  He makes unreasonable noise; or

3.  In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or

4.  Without lawful authority, he he disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or

5.  He obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or

6.  He congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or

7.  He creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.

Disorderly conduct is a violation.

240.25.  Harassment

A person is guilty of harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person:

1.  He strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects him to physical contact or attempts or threatens to do the same; or

2.  In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or

3.  He follows a person in or about a public place or places; or

4.  He engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose.

Harassment is a violation.

145.00. Criminal Mischief 4th degree

A person is guilty of Criminal Mischief in the fourth degree when, having no right to do so, nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he:

1.  Intentionally damages property of another person; or

2.  Intentionally participates in the destruction of an abandoned building as defined in section 1971a of the real property actions and proceedings law; or

3.  Recklessly damages property of another person in an amount exceeding two hundred fifty dollars.

240.55.  Falsely Reporting an Incident 2nd degree

A person is guilty of falsely reporting an incident in the second degree when, knowing the information reported, conveyed or circulated to be false or baseless, he or she:

1.  Initiates or circulates a false report or warning of an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a fire or an explosion under circumstances in which it is not unlikely that public alarm or inconvenience will result; or

2.  Reports by word or action, to any official or quasi-official agency or organization having the function of dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property, an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a fire or an explosion which did not occur or does not in fact exist; or

3.  Reports, by work or action, to the state wide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, as defined in title six of article six of the social service law, an alleged occurrence or condition of child abuse or maltreatment which did in fact occur or exist.


240.50 - 240.60 Falsely Reporting an Incident 

Misdemeanor and felony level crimes to  knowingly make a false or baseless report of a past or future emergency, or a false report of child abuse.

155.25. Larceny

A person is guilty of petit larceny when he steals property.  Petit larceny is a class A misdemeanor when value of the stolen property is less than $1000.00.

Most of the Penal Law Sections are Violations.  Some are misdemeanors with up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine attached....


1.  Advise your neighbors when your party will begin and end.   Give them a person to contact in case of problems.  Don't call them.   Make a personal visit!

2.  Close your windows if your party is inside.  Sound travels.   Use common sense!

3.  Keep the stereo under control!  Remember the Noise Ordinance!

4.  Don't let your guests leave with alcoholic beverages in their hands.  Remember the Open container violation!

5.  Keep the noise under control.  Yelling, screaming and loud noises will only bring us to the party early!

6.  The ABC Law prohibits charging admission t anyone attending your party.  Local bar owners complain, because they require a license to do that.

7.  Remember, providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21 is a crime.

8.  Keep the party contained and under control.  Fence off the outside areas.  To insure you have a trouble free party, call the police department if you need information regarding the legality of your upcoming party.  We are available to assist you.