According to a press release sent by the SFPD, “during New Year’s Eve and the hours following, the San Francisco Police Department will strictly enforce the provisions of Section 21 of the Municipal Police Code for the public consumption of alcohol.” Possible penalty for violation of Section 21? A ticket with a fine that’ll cost you somewhere between 25-100 bucks.

They also warn that “containers of alcohol and fireworks will be confiscated. Anyone who is drunk, or who operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated, will be arrested.” Which we would like to think would happen most days!

What is this mysterious Section 21, which SFPD says violations thereof will be met with a “zero-tolerance policy” by their “significant police presence” on NYE? We’ve pasted it below, so you have no excuse.

(a) No person shall consume any alcoholic beverage in any quantity on any public street, avenue, sidewalk, stairway, alley, or thoroughfare within the City and County of San Francisco; nor shall any person consume any alcoholic beverage within 15 feet of any public way or thoroughfare while on a private stairway, doorway, or other private property open to public view without the express or implied permission of the owner, his agent, or the person in lawful possession thereof; provided, however, that the provisions of this Section shall not apply to the interior portion of any private dwelling, habitat, or building, to the consumption by persons in the areas herein designated of any duly prescribed and dispensed medication having alcoholic content, or to those persons consuming alcoholic beverages while viewing a parade for which a permit has been granted pursuant to Section 367 of this Code. Further, this Section shall not be applicable in those prescribed areas and during such time for which permission for temporary use or occupancy of public streets and appurtenant areas has been granted by:

(1)The Board of Supervisors pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.70 of the Administrative Code;

(2)The Department of Public Works pursuant to the provisions of Article 5.2 of the Public Works Code for a business establishment anywhere in San Francisco that meets the requirements of a full-service restaurant, pursuant to Planning Code Section 790.92 as interpreted by the Zoning Administrator; or

(3)The Department of Public Works pursuant to the provisions of Article 5.2 of the Public Works Code for a business establishment that had a valid tables and chairs permit and California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control beverage license or permit on the effective date of this ordinance.

(b) Penalty. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of an infraction, the penalty for which shall be a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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