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A while ago, a friend told me it was "illegal to drink beer out of a bucket on a curb in St. Louis." This seems crazy, and the internet [1] [2] [3] seems to just repeat it without citations. Is this a real law on the books in St. Louis (or anywhere for that matter)?

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It's illegal to drink beer in public in St. Louis (with certain exceptions). Nothing specific to buckets.

Municial Code 14.05.010:

No person shall drink any nonintoxicating beer or intoxicating liquor in any park, public building, street, sidewalk, alley, highway, parking lot, thoroughfare, or other public place unless consumption of intoxicating liquor or nonintoxicating beer in such place has been expressly authorized in writing by the Excise Commissioner. Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prohibit the consumption of nonintoxicating beer or intoxicating liquor by working persons during mealtime near their assigned work areas, or by picnic groups in public parks, providing that the person or persons consuming beverages are not noisy, riotous or disorderly in any manner.

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    Does it define what "nonintoxicating beer" is? That seems an odd term. EDIT: Here it is. Essentially 3.2 (but not NA) beer. – iamnotmaynard Apr 10 '17 at 15:11
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    @iamnotmaynard: Interesting loophole: "Nonintoxicating beer" has to be made from "wholesome grains and cereals" and be "free from all harmful substances, preservatives and adulterants". And "intoxicating liquor" is more than 3.2% alcohol. So if you make some booze out of unwholesome grains, or you add some preservatives or adulterants to it, and dilute it to 3.1%, you can drink it anywhere you want! – Nate Eldredge Apr 10 '17 at 15:26
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    I wonder if non alcholic beer is excempt? – Neil Meyer Apr 10 '17 at 16:08
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    @NeilMeyer: Yes, non-alcoholic beer is typically under 0.5% alcohol, and so it isn't included in the definitions of either "nonintoxicating beer" nor "intoxicating liquor". – Nate Eldredge Apr 10 '17 at 18:15
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    So it's illegal to drink beer out of a bucket on a curb, but it's also illegal to drink beer out of a neon-colored hard hat with your shoes open, on a curb with both feet on a crack in the pavement. – henning Oct 20 '17 at 12:48

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