Lower East Side revelers create parade of drunken horrors
There’s a river of booze flowing in the Lower East Side and the NYPD is drowning in it.
Drunken-driving arrests, disorderly conduct and underage drinking are running rampant below Houston Street, officials say.
Since September, more than 1,100 summonses have reportedly been handed out for “quality of life” offenses like carrying open alcohol and disorderly conduct.
“There are always girls hanging out of cabs throwing up,” said resident and artist Johnny Wickson, 23.
But the revelers aren’t just causing problems on the sidewalk — police are also catching them driving drunk.
The number of DWI arrests in the Lower East Side has tripled since last year. As of March 27, officers busted 65 people for DWI, compared with 23 during last year’s first quarter — the highest in Manhattan, according to the New York Post.
Businesses are also suffering, as popular watering holes Gallery Bar, Los Feliz and Mason Dixon were all closed in the past few months for serving underage patrons.
Cops are even targeting bouncers, vendors say, closing bars where bouncers allegedly took bribes to let in younger crowds. Gallery Bar owner Josh Boyd, 36, had to fire his entire security staff — and close for six days — after an NYPD bust, which he said cost $40,000 in lost revenue.
“They [the police] put us in the hole for a good two months,” he told Metro.
Meanwhile, locals say the night scene can be wild, but some don’t mind.
“I see mayhem all the time,” said 21-year-old artist Jared Kaminski, but added, “This neighborhood is what it is.”
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter at @EmilyatMetro.