Mardi Gras in New Orleans is like no other experience you have ever had. Most people come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras to party and have fun. However, there are some people who's sole mission is to take advantage of anyone who is unprepared for their plan.
The TUPD encourages you to enjoy the Carnival Season and suggests that you read the following information, which can assist you in having a safe Mardi Gras:
The New Orleans Police Department along with the assistance of several local, state and federal law enforcement agencies do an excellent job in policing the French Quarter and parade routes however, like many large cities, crimes do slip through the cracks.
Some general safety rules to keep in mind are:
Don't park in the French Quarter or along a parade routes.
Exactly 2 hours before a parade, fleets of tow trucks come and get all the cars on the route. City tow trucks can "hook-up" a car and have it going in less than two minutes. All vehicular traffic is limited to residential and business purposes. Use parking lots and garages to avoid tickets and towing fees.
Travel well lighted, well populated areas.
Criminals usually occupy areas where they cannot be easily identified. Areas that are well lighted and well populated tend to discourage most criminal activity.
Download the RAVE Guardian App.
If you have a "tulane.edu" address, you are eligible to download this free phone app directly from on your phone. This app has several features such as a "virtual escort", a means of confidentially reporting a crime, to assisting us in locating you should you get lost. The power of "GPS tracking technology can be in the palm of your hand". The system only tracks data when you activate it. Your information remains on a secure server unless you activate it!
The bathrooms available in the French Quarter are few and far between.
You must buy something in a store or bar to use the bathroom and some places will even stamp your hand so you can come back for a repeat performance. There will be portable bathrooms located on several corners in the French Quarter but, as the days pass, they become very dirty and could make for an unpleasant experience.
Don't Urinate in public.
This is a violation of the City's ordinance and could lead to your arrest.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Become familiar with the area in which you are in. If something seems like it is unsafe, follow your instincts (they are usually right).
Respect barricades, ropes or any other device that separates the street from the neutral grounds (median strip) and sidewalks.
These are clear lines put up by the city that should not be crossed. As this is a safety barrier monitored by police, it could lead to an arrest.
Get into the Spirit of Mardi Gras.
Have a good time. Enjoy what's happening in and around New Orleans. Wear a costume, eat and drink to your hearts content. Explore all that New Orleans haves to offer.
Louisiana's Open Container Law permits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public, however the container cannot be a can or made out of glass. Before leaving a bar or club, pour your drink into a "to go" cup. It is also a good idea to "hydrate" yourself with non alcoholic fluids as well. If you have consumed too much alcohol, consider taking a cab or alternate transportation such as Uber to your destination instead of driving. Driving under the influence can lead to severe penalties by police!
Follow Instructions Given by Police.
The New Orleans Police Department as well as Louisiana State troopers are among the best when it comes to crowd-control. They know exactly where the line is between acceptable and unacceptable behavior during Carnival. If a police officer gives you instructions, they are usually relative to a safe practice, an attempt to shield you from an unforeseen danger, and/or maintain a safe flow of pedestrian traffic as to prevent injuries or other problems. If you fail to comply with the officer's instructions, you will most likely be arrested. Police must resolves conflicts quickly in order to get back on the street.