OPEN INTOX in Ann Arbor


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It is illegal in Ann Arbor, Michigan to drink or possess open containers that contain alcohol, beer, wine, or spirits while on public property. The City of Ann Arbor calls alcohol containing drinks “intoxicating substances”. Public property is also narrowly defined. If you are caught by the Ann Arbor Police Department drinking or holding an open alcohol container on public property or streets, then you will get charged with a misdemeanor called open intox or possession on public streets.

Common Questions about Open Intox in Ann Arbor

This means that if you are on public property or streets, then the Ann Arbor Police can issue you a misdemeanor ticket for open intox.  Some examples of public property are sidewalks, alleys, the street, parks, athletic fields; some shared driveways, some parking lots, railroad tracks, or anyplace owned/controlled by the City of Ann Arbor.  If you have one foot on a sidewalk property, that is enough to getting charged.

Ann Arbor City Ordinances

9:75 – Consumption in Public

No person shall consume alcoholic liquor on the public streets, in a public parking lot, in a public parking structure or in the portion of any business premises open to the public if that business is not licensed to sell alcoholic liquor for consumption on the premises. A business or organization having permission from the Liquor Control Commission for outdoor sales may, with the approval of the City Council, sell or deliver alcoholic liquor for consumption on a designated area of public streets, parking structures or parking lots, subject to such restrictions as to time, dates and location as may be imposed by the City Council. It shall not be a violation of this section for a person to consume alcoholic liquor obtained from such a business or organization if such consumption is made in the designated area.

(Ord. No. 09-18, § 1, 5-18-09)

9:80 – Possession on public street.

Except in those areas where consumption of alcoholic liquor is permitted by this chapter, no person shall possess alcoholic liquor in an open, uncapped, or unsealed container on a public street.

(Ord. No. 09-18, § 1, 5-18-09)

About Me

My name is Alexander W. Hermanowski. I am an attorney practicing in criminal defense, estate planning, and personal injury cases with a focus on auto accidents. In addition to owning Hermanowski Law, I also work with the University of Michigan - Student Legal Services. At the University of Michigan, I help currently enrolled students with various legal issues ranging from criminal defense to consumer protections. I practice regularly in all the courts in Washtenaw, but spend the majority of my time in the 15th District Court where I have hearings almost every week. During the school year it’s not unusual to find me at the 15th District Court up to three times a week. I am familiar with the Judges, Assistant Prosecutors, Assistant City Attorneys, and court staff. I am also a member and board member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association serving as a Director at Large, and co-chair of the Criminal Law section. I pride myself on helping people, being fair, and educating my clients on their situation so they can make informed decisions. I also speak Polish, and conversational Spanish. I have offices in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.


Education, Experience, and Associations

  • Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA - BS in Business Administration -2002-2006
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School - Ann Arbor, MI - JD in Litigation -2010-2013
  • Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM)- Trial College Graduate - 2015
  • Volunteer Attorney for the Washtenaw County Public Defender Office - 2011-2012
  • University of Michigan Student Legal Services 2014 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association - Co Chairman for Criminal Law
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association - Executive Board Member - Director at Large
  • Ypsilanti Bar Association
  • Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM)
  • Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) - Member

Contact Me

Call me for a free consultation at (734) 887-6079.