DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
Stepping Up & Standing Out

How can I make bar hopping safer and avoid breaking laws?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Exploring New Jersey’s bustling nightlife through bar hopping is a thrilling adventure. However, it is crucial to do so responsibly to ensure both safety and adherence to state law. Otherwise, you may find yourself either in the hospital or jail.

Plan your route

Before embarking on your night out, meticulously plan your route. Select bars within walking distance to avoid driving while under the influence. The internet provides a plethora of tools to help you plan your night out and find clusters of bars. And, if you must go to bars separated by distance, you can always take a rideshare or taxi to the next bar to avoid driving and mitigate the time you spend walking.

Know the local laws

Familiarize yourself with local ordinances on bar closing times and public intoxication. Regulations may vary across New Jersey, with some areas mandating bar closures as early as 2:00 a.m., while others extend to 3:00 a.m. Understanding these laws can help steer you clear of legal complications, like trespassing or disorderly conduct.

Stay hydrated and eat well

Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach accelerates intoxication. Ensure you have a substantial meal before commencing your night and maintain hydration by drinking water throughout. This practice can mitigate some of alcohol’s effects and reduce the risk of overindulgence.

Use public transportation, a designated driver, taxis or rideshare

When traveling to and from the bars, opt for public transport, rideshare services or assign a sober driver. While these services may not be needed for bars that are next to each other, you should plan for these services when arriving at the bar, when traveling to a bar further away and when you are ready to go home.

Be mindful of your alcohol intake

Monitor your alcohol consumption and recognize your limits. Excessive drinking can impair judgment and potentially lead to criminal charges, such as disorderly conduct or assault. Bar altercations can escalate rapidly and result in serious charges.

Maintain composure and disengage from potential conflicts. Remember, a night out should be enjoyable, not a catalyst for legal entanglements.

Respect the establishment’s rules

Bars possess the authority to refuse service and eject patrons. Adhering to the establishment’s regulations and staff instructions can prevent charges, such as trespassing.


Acknowledge the potential legal ramifications of bar hopping. Charges may range from misdemeanors like disorderly conduct to more severe indictable offenses. Though, by adhering to these guidelines, you can revel in New Jersey’s nightlife while prioritizing safety and legal compliance.