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Thread: Alcohol and Carry question

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    Alcohol and Carry question

    Hello all, I am going to be PCSing to Fort Campbell in a month and so have been checking up on Kentucky's firearm laws. I have been able to get some pretty good answers from this forum and some other sites, but I still have one question.

    I have not been able to find if it is illegal to carry in Kentucky if you have consumed alcohol. I would like to clarify that I in no way mean to get drunk and then carry, but there have been many times that I have had occasion to leave the house after having a single beer.

    In my home state of Missouri, you do not lose the right to carry/self defense with the consumption of alcohol, but that is a very new law there. It used to be at the discretion of the LEO, so if you get breathalized and blow a 0.005 they could arrest you for possesing a firearm while under the influence.

    So to put my question clearly, is it illegal in Kentucky to carry while under the influence of alcohol, and if so, is there a legal limit as there is with driving?

    Thanks in advance.

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    This is bourbon country friend. We love our bourbon almost as much as we love guns.

    Well, Im sure some do.

    I cannot recall any laws specifically pertaining to alcohol and carrying except that you can carry in a bar as long as the firearm in unloaded.

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    To me, you can do it, but should you is the question.

    The only thing I can find in the KRS is one can't open carry a loaded gun in a bar or the bar portion of a restaurant (gets less than 50% of revenue from the bar). You can't conceal carry loaded or unloaded in a bar or the bar portion of a restaurant.

    KRS 237.060 Definitions for KRS 237.060 to 237.090 and certain other sections.

    (4) "Loaded" with respect to a firearm means:
    (a) There is ammunition in the chamber of the firearm; or
    (b) There is ammunition in the cylinder of the firearm; or
    (c) There is ammunition in the magazine of a firearm, if the magazine is
    attached to the firearm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donica View Post
    To me, you can do it, but should you is the question.
    That is always a good question. For me, if I have ever drunk enough to question my judgement, I stay at home regardless. I have driven after a couple beers (under the legal limit) just as I have carried in the same circumstances. It's a decision you have to make knowing you will live with the consequences. An intoxicated person is more of a risk to others behind the wheel of a car than just having a firearm belted on, though that doesn't mean that such a person is not an increased risk to others due to impaired judgement. I simply wanted to ensure I will be within the law with me occasionally having a drink or two after work. It's always better to have a second set of eyes look through the laws rather than being arrested for something labeled as a 'gun crime' due to a simple oversight.

    Thanks for the answers!

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    To add to what Gutshot said, in the unfortunate case of having to use your weapon under the influence of alcohol: It could provide for a stronger case against you in a civil suit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donica View Post
    To me, you can do it, but should you is the question.

    The only thing I can find in the KRS is one can't open carry a loaded gun in a bar or the bar portion of a restaurant (gets less than 50% of revenue from the bar). You can't conceal carry loaded or unloaded in a bar or the bar portion of a restaurant.
    Ok, I was at Joe's Crab Shack, getting a to-go order, I had to go to the Bar to place/wait for my order. So I could have been arrested?


    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donica View Post
    To me, you can do it, but should you is the question.

    The only thing I can find in the KRS is one can't open carry a loaded gun in a bar or the bar portion of a restaurant (gets less than 50% of revenue from the bar). You can't conceal carry loaded or unloaded in a bar or the bar portion of a restaurant.

    KRS 237.060 Definitions for KRS 237.060 to 237.090 and certain other sections.

    (4) "Loaded" with respect to a firearm means:
    (a) There is ammunition in the chamber of the firearm; or
    (b) There is ammunition in the cylinder of the firearm; or
    (c) There is ammunition in the magazine of a firearm, if the magazine is
    attached to the firearm.
    This is incorrect advice concerning your rights. You CAN carry in any area of a restaurant, including the bar area, as long as said restaurant makes at least 50% of its sales from the sale of food. This would be restaurants such as Texas' Roadhouse, TGI Friday's, Red Lobster, etc.

    If you are in an establishment that does NOT make at least 50% of its income from the sale of food, then you cannot carry unless you carry openly and unloaded. Any place like this would most likely be a bar, or perhaps a bowling alley or such.

    As long as you are in a restaurant in KENTUCKY that serves alcohol (or not) you can carry anywhere in THAT restaurant. Kentucky law (KRS 242.1244) MANDATES that any restaurant that serves alcohol MUST seat at least 50 people and they MUST make at least 70% of their income from the sale of food. So, any restaurant in the state of Kentucky is okay to carry in, because by law they can't serve alcohol unless they make 70% of their income from the sale of food, well over the required 50% number in order to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol.

    @ Donica:

    I realize you are just trying to help, but it really is prudent that you study all of the laws before you allow someone to believe what you say is FACT. When I first came on board here I was corrected numerous times by much more knowledgeable individuals than myself, so please don't think I am trying to be hard on you. This topic concerns a man's rights, and we should only give information if we know for certain that it is fact, and we should always provide a cite if possible.
    Last edited by KYGlockster; 07-22-2013 at 09:15 AM.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post

    <snip> Also, you might want to consider what would happen if you were to ever use your weapon after having a drink or two. <snip>
    Location location location. A drunk homeowner, defending his home, is not the same as drinking and carrying a gun. Once you step off your property is where your common sense needs to prevail. Unless cops have an exemption in KY so that they can get drunk at home and still defend themselves where as the average KY citizen holds no such exemption.

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    RSMo 571.030(5) Has a firearm or projectile weapon readily capable of lethal use on his or her person, while he or she is intoxicated, and handles or otherwise uses such firearm or projectile weapon in either a negligent or unlawful manner or discharges such firearm or projectile weapon unless acting in self-defense;
    The issue is not that you are intoxicated, it is what you do while you are intoxicated. In the RSMo there is no "BAC" because in Missouri you it is your acts while intoxicated that are the issue. No unlawful acts, party on dude. KY may be different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    The issue is not that you are intoxicated, it is what you do while you are intoxicated. In the RSMo there is no "BAC" because in Missouri you it is your acts while intoxicated that are the issue. No unlawful acts, party on dude. KY may be different.
    Kentucky has no law such as the one you quoted from Missouri. In Kentucky if someone did something that endangered another's life, regardless of what tool they used to do so, they would be charged with Wanton Endangerment in a specific degree; they would be charged with assault as well if they caused injury.

    It is completely legal to drink and carry your firearm; it is even legal to drink and fire your firearm. Where the problem arises is if you were to fire your firearm with a wanton disregard for other people or their property.

    As for shooting someone while drinking: as long as you done so in accordance with KRS Chapter 503, you would never be convicted for that particular act, just as you wouldn't if you shot someone while you were not drinking. Now again, if you used wanton disregard for other people's lives or property in the process, then you could be charged and convicted for that even if you were within Kentucky's self-defense statutes. This not only applies if you do so while drinking, but it would also apply even if you were not.

    The bottom-line is we must ALWAYS use good judgment, and this is nearly impossible to do if we have been drinking more than a couple drinks. So, always use good judgment and do NOT drink more than one or two drinks while carrying something that can become a deadly weapon. Personally, I will not drink any alcohol if I am carrying my firearm and I always carry. I guess that tells everyone how much I drink, huh?
    Last edited by KYGlockster; 07-22-2013 at 11:06 AM.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

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    The aspect that keeps me from drinking while OCing in a restaurant that serves alcohol, not even one beer or one glass of wine, is the certainty that if I had to use my firearm the prosecutor (or the civil litigant's attorney) would absolutely use that fact against me, conveying to the judge or jury that I was "under the influence." I'm not willing to risk that regardless of the law allowing me to do that. (Note: In the Commonwealth of Virginia, one can imbibe while OCing a loaded firearm. If one is CCing, one can NOT imbibe. The conventional wisdom among most of my Virginia friends is that it is never a good idea to mix carrying with imbibing.)

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    Alcohol and Carry question

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    The aspect that keeps me from drinking while OCing in a restaurant that serves alcohol, not even one beer or one glass of wine, is the certainty that if I had to use my firearm the prosecutor (or the civil litigant's attorney) would absolutely use that fact against me, conveying to the judge or jury that I was "under the influence." I'm not willing to risk that regardless of the law allowing me to do that. (Note: In the Commonwealth of Virginia, one can imbibe while OCing a loaded firearm. If one is CCing, one can NOT imbibe. The conventional wisdom among most of my Virginia friends is that it is never a good idea to mix carrying with imbibing.)
    I know I am going to sound a lot like troll but I swear this is a serious question.

    I have heard and read the statement you made numerous times. It is a valid argument but it still begs a question. What do you do at home?

    Now if you don't drink period then the question doesn't apply. If you do though it is a serious question. If you decide to drink at home do you lock your firearm up? If you have been drinking would you let a criminal that chooses to victimize at your home have his way?

    I ask because whether at home or a restaurant drinking the argument from a prosecutor that your judgment was impaired could still apply.
    .45 ACP - Because shooting twice is silly

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    Drinking at home is different than drinking out in town as far as I am concerned.

    If a round does not hit its mark then the wanton disregard in the first degree could come into play. That statute and its second degree cousin are bad laws that KY citizens need to have changed to be more specific in its applicability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiK_SacK View Post
    I know I am going to sound a lot like troll but I swear this is a serious question.

    I have heard and read the statement you made numerous times. It is a valid argument but it still begs a question. What do you do at home?

    Now if you don't drink period then the question doesn't apply. If you do though it is a serious question. If you decide to drink at home do you lock your firearm up? If you have been drinking would you let a criminal that chooses to victimize at your home have his way?

    I ask because whether at home or a restaurant drinking the argument from a prosecutor that your judgment was impaired could still apply.
    I understand and appreciate your question, and it's a valid one. For me, the difference *is* drinking in public v. drinking at home. If I am in an alcohol-serving restaurant (Virginia does not have 'bars') OCing and drinking, it's a matter of common observation -- people can see me drinking while carrying. If anything were to occur that resulted in the use of my firearm, there are lots of people who would bear witness to the combination of my drinking while carrying, and a good prosecutor would be certain to use that fact against me. As a law-abiding citizen, I would never imbibe while CCing -- it's against the law in Virginia. And, as a matter of personal practice, I would never imbibe while OCing in public -- it's just not a good thing to do, even though it's legal here in the Commonwealth.

    When I am at home, I sometimes carry and sometimes just know where the firearms are, and I will enjoy a glass or two of wine with my dinner. The difference -- in my mind, at least -- is that I am not in a public setting, where people may see me imbibing and if called to testify may make invalid statements about how much I had to drink or how 'impaired' I seemed to be. I simply do not have the same level of concern about what I do privately v. what other people see me do in public.

    As for your final question, I live in a "secure, undisclosed location" that would take serious effort to breach. By the time someone could effect entrance, both my wife and I would be well armed. I hope that answers your questions...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    Please cite the laws that you found and used as a basis for this. I don't believe the statutes say that you can't OC in any portion of a restaurant that serves alcohol.


    There was a 4 page thread arguring the meaning of this statue about a year ago I don't recall it ever being settleted

    237.110

    (16) Except as provided in KRS 527.020, no license issued pursuant to this section
    shall authorize any person to carry a concealed firearm into:

    (e)Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense beer or alcoholic
    beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the
    establishment is primarily devoted to that purpose;

    It seems like there has always been some confussion trying to define the words portion and the words primarily, both in the ky forum and in other state forums that use similar langage as well

    I think the intent of the statue was if you could order food at the bar then you could carry, however the statue could have been worded better, it leaves room for a rouge prosecuter to play with

    On that same note I also recall a thread back a couple of months ago where we established that there were no
    penalities for carring into any of the off limit places listed here

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    The aspect that keeps me from drinking while OCing in a restaurant that serves alcohol, not even one beer or one glass of wine, is the certainty that if I had to use my firearm the prosecutor (or the civil litigant's attorney) would absolutely use that fact against me, conveying to the judge or jury that I was "under the influence." ...
    So you are not really fearing imminent death in THAT hypothetical circumstance, else capital punishment is a sure thing - at the hand of the Bad Guy or at the hand of the State.

    Better tried by twelve men, good and true, than carried by six mourners, weeping and blue.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    So you are not really fearing imminent death in THAT hypothetical circumstance, else capital punishment is a sure thing - at the hand of the Bad Guy or at the hand of the State.

    Better tried by twelve men, good and true, than carried by six mourners, weeping and blue.
    I've read your post a few times and I'm not certain what you are saying. If I am in Virginia (and not planning on crossing into the People's Republics of DC or Maryland), I am armed, often OC, sometimes CC. All I am saying in this thread is that I will not complicate any possible defense I may have to provide by having to convince a judge or jury that I was not "under the influence." That's a far more difficult task if I have been observed imbibing in a public setting.

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    Having reread KRS 244 and 237 I agree that OC is ok in the bar of a restaurant. But the "any portion" language of 237 seems to rule the bar area out for CC. I guess it would depend on whether that area is "primarily intended" for alcohol. Too much gray area for me.

    I don't mind being corrected by more knowledgable people. That's why I'm here, to gain what knowledge I can.

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    Thinking about it now this may be a better discussion for a different part of the forum. Maybe I will ask this question elsewhere to get a bigger response. I just know how these conversations end up. No matter how well intentioned you may be, this topic can get rather heated. lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    I understand and appreciate your question, and it's a valid one. For me, the difference *is* drinking in public v. drinking at home. If I am in an alcohol-serving restaurant (Virginia does not have 'bars') OCing and drinking, it's a matter of common observation -- people can see me drinking while carrying. If anything were to occur that resulted in the use of my firearm, there are lots of people who would bear witness to the combination of my drinking while carrying, and a good prosecutor would be certain to use that fact against me. As a law-abiding citizen, I would never imbibe while CCing -- it's against the law in Virginia. And, as a matter of personal practice, I would never imbibe while OCing in public -- it's just not a good thing to do, even though it's legal here in the Commonwealth.
    If you notice I am currently in VA as well. Wasn't born and raised in VA, but started carrying in VA. As far as public perception goes, I personally could care less (to an extent). By that I mean I carry myself in a polite and professional manner while carrying, and I do not go out with a complete disregard for public perception. It's just the unfortunate truth that people are going to make assumptions and form opinions of you good or bad regardless. So if I chose to have a beer with dinner while out and somebody chooses to form an opinion of me with out knowing me that is their prerogative. People, in general, make rash and biased opinions. If they would take the time to notice that I had only 1 beer, maybe 2, through the course of dinner. That I am out with my wife an two kids. That I am not loud and obnoxious. That I am being polite with the waitress/staff. If they were to take all of that into account, I would like to imagine (I know in reality I am being bias in this opinion), they could make the educated decision that I am not a threat and that I am merely just like them. Only difference is that I chose to carry a firearm. Is there a potential for a negative effect on any defense should I have to deploy my firearm, sure. The same could be said for drinking at home. I think we are in agreement with that point, just with a varying degree of concern between the two situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    When I am at home, I sometimes carry and sometimes just know where the firearms are, and I will enjoy a glass or two of wine with my dinner. The difference -- in my mind, at least -- is that I am not in a public setting, where people may see me imbibing and if called to testify may make invalid statements about how much I had to drink or how 'impaired' I seemed to be. I simply do not have the same level of concern about what I do privately v. what other people see me do in public.
    What about the responding officers that notice the half empty wine glass on your end table? I suppose just seeing a wine glass/beer bottle would warrant the assumption that you have been drinking. There are so many 'what ifs' I don't think you or I really want to get into the what if game. Just in my mind those 'what ifs' are what should put public and private in the same level on concern.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    As for your final question, I live in a "secure, undisclosed location" that would take serious effort to breach. By the time someone could effect entrance, both my wife and I would be well armed. I hope that answers your questions...
    I, unfortunately, do not currently have the same luxury as you do. Some day. The lay out of my home, and financial reason cause me to carry around the house. I have a two story home, with the stairs right in front of the front door. So if I have my gun locked up upstairs and somebody decides to kick in my front door, I have no defensive position.
    Last edited by MagiK_SacK; 07-22-2013 at 10:40 PM.
    .45 ACP - Because shooting twice is silly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tmhrr View Post
    There was a 4 page thread arguring the meaning of this statue about a year ago I don't recall it ever being settleted

    237.110

    (16) Except as provided in KRS 527.020, no license issued pursuant to this section
    shall authorize any person to carry a concealed firearm into:

    (e)Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense beer or alcoholic
    beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the
    establishment is primarily devoted to that purpose;

    It seems like there has always been some confussion trying to define the words portion and the words primarily, both in the ky forum and in other state forums that use similar langage as well

    I think the intent of the statue was if you could order food at the bar then you could carry, however the statue could have been worded better, it leaves room for a rouge prosecuter to play with

    On that same note I also recall a thread back a couple of months ago where we established that there were no
    penalities for carring into any of the off limit places listed here
    244.125 Prohibition against possession of loaded firearm in room where
    alcoholic beverages are being sold by the drink.

    (1) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, no person shall be in
    possession of a loaded, as defined in KRS 237.060, firearm while actually
    within the ROOM where alcoholic beverages are being sold by the drink of a
    BUILDING on premises licensed to sell distilled spirits and wine at retail by the
    drink for consumption on the licensed premises pursuant to KRS Chapter 243....

    (3) This section shall NOT apply to a bona fide RESTAURANT open to the general public
    having dining facilities for not less than fifty (50) persons and which receives
    less than fifty percent (50%) of its annual food and beverage income from the
    dining facilities by the sale of alcohol.

    As for your quote above, in Kentucky law a PORTION of an establishment would entitle the ENTIRE establishment, including the parking lot. This can be found here: KRS 241.010 Definitions for KRS Chapters 241, 242, and 243.

    (9) "Building containing licensed premises" means the licensed premises
    themselves and includes the land, tract of land, or parking lot in which the
    premises are contained, and any part of any building connected by direct
    access or by an entrance which is under the ownership or control of the
    licensee by lease holdings or ownership;

    And, as Gutshot has already pointed out, there is NO penalty for carrying a concealed firearm wherever an OPENLY carried firearm can be constitutionally carried. So, you CAN carry a concealed firearm within the BAR portion of a restaurant and not be committing an illegal act.
    Last edited by KYGlockster; 07-24-2013 at 10:38 AM.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

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