Get your beer on at St. Patrick's Day events.

Get your beer on at St. Patrick's Day events.

2010 File Photo/Staff

Many of the questionable shenanigans at the Dallas St. Patrick's Parade & Festival are not actually illegal. They're just frowned upon. Or stupid. Or unsafe. And also sometimes fun. 

Others are against the law, no questions asked.

We're here to help you keep straight which is which.

Can you drink on the street during the parade?

No*. Open containers are not allowed on Dallas streets on any day, and that includes on St. Patrick's Day.

Where to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Dallas-Fort Worth with parades, parties and, yes, pickles

* The parade has hired 210 uniformed Dallas police officers and another 200-plus plain-clothes officers to patrol the parade. Many of them have worked the event in the past, which means they are aware that lots of patrons bring their own rolling coolers and Big Gulps filled with adult beverages. Let's say you're minding your business, sipping a beer and watching the parade. You're breaking the law, but you may not be a target. But what if you sip that beverage, then punch somebody in the face? Pee on the curb? Drive under the influence? The target on your back just got a lot bigger. 

Can you expose yourself?

Exposing breasts — your own or someone else's — may not be foreign territory for the Greenville parade. But a Dallas police spokeswoman confirmed that neither is legal, and each constitutes a disorderly conduct offense, a Class C misdemeanor. If a man exposes a woman's breast without her permission, the woman could press charges for Class A assault, as well.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott seen exposing woman's breast during Dallas St. Patrick's Day parade

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott made headlines at last year's parade after he exposed a woman's breast, while under investigation from the NFL for domestic-violence allegations. Elliott wasn't charged for the St. Patrick's Day incident, though a spokeswoman told The Dallas Morning News that an officer would typically issue a citation for such an offense. Elliott later said the act was consensual and he had sex with the woman later. The NFL said the incident didn't factor into his six-game suspension.

And know your law: Neither exposing your own breasts, nor someone else's, inherently constitutes indecent exposure. Dallas police define indecent exposure, a Class B misdemeanor, as exposing yourself for sexual gratification.

Can you bicycle under the influence of alcohol?

While Dallas doesn't have all those bike rentals like it used to, the ol' two-wheeler in your garage will work as a great way to get to the parade. But can you get a BWI — bicycling while intoxicated?

While Dallas doesn't have all those bike rentals like it used to, the ol' two-wheeler in your garage will work as a great way to get to the parade. But can you get a BWI — bicycling while intoxicated?

Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer

A recent Twitter exchange between a Dallas resident and a rental bike company sent us on a fact-checking trail to discover whether you can really get charged with DWI for drunken bicycling. 

Drunken-driving laws in several states, including Georgia and Florida, incorporate bikes. While Texas law prohibits driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated, it doesn't explicitly classify a bike as a motor vehicle. That's led to confusion in the legal community, which says you could make a case either way. 

Dallas police, however, say it isn't possible to charge someone with a DWI for riding a bike while intoxicated.

Other alcohol-related laws still apply, which means you can get in legal trouble for public intoxication, blocking a roadway or being seen with an open container of alcohol. A police spokeswoman said she would arrest a biker on a public intoxication charge if a person is "intoxicated on a bicycle and likely a danger to themselves or others."

Have fun and stay safe out there at the Dallas St. Patrick's Parade.

Correction at 1:40 p.m. March 15, 2018: A sentence in this story said it is illegal to bicycle without a helmet. Minors must wear a helmet, according to Section 9-8 of Dallas City Code, but it is not illegal for adults to do so.

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