Drinking is an activity in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that can be done with the player's girlfriends, and, in GTA IV (and its DLCs), friends, at a bar. Drinking can only be done alone in the The Ballad of Gay Tony DLC for GTA IV.
GTA San Andreas
Each of the player's girlfriends has preferences towards bars, which are more of a low-end destination for a date; as a result, certain girlfriends will shun bars altogether. When entered along with a girlfriend, the player is treated with a cutscene of player character drinking in the bar with the girlfriend, the girlfriend's behavior dependent on whether she likes going to a bar or not.
Drinking can be done at any of these bars accessible by the protagonist and their girlfriends:
- Ten Green Bottles, Los Santos.
- Misty's, San Fierro.
- The Craw Bar, Las Venturas.
- Lil' Probe'Inn, Bone County.
In GTA IV, the cost of drinking in a bar is between $50-$100, depending on the "class" of the bar. When visiting a bar with friends and girlfriends, a cutscene will show them going in the bar. Afterwards, both of them will appear outside the bar, drunk. When drunk, there is some conversation between the characters, who will sometimes reveal other aspects of their personality. Frequently, the conversation may become an argument and Niko will tell the other person to be quiet. While drunk, Niko will stumble and sometimes fall to the ground, the same as the person who is with him. He will also be unable to walk in a straight line, run, and jump or draw a weapon or fight. Vision will also become blurry and the camera will move irregularly. The intoxication wears off after a while, and if another activity is done after drinking or after dropping off the other person at their house, Niko will become sober again after about 10 seconds.
If the player gets into a vehicle while drunk, Niko will remark that doing so is not a good idea (only Niko Bellic will say this, because when Johnny Klebitz gets on his bike, a short cutscene will follow, showing his friends saying they had a good time and driving off, and then Johnny's intoxication will wear off soon). Driving while drunk also becomes difficult because Niko will not be able to see clearly and control the vehicle properly. When driving under the influence, the car moves towards the nearest solid object; if there is a car 5 feet in front of you and a tree three feet from you you will hit the tree and then ricochet into the car. If Niko is driving while intoxicated and the police see him he will get a one star wanted level.
Alternatively, the player can opt to take a taxi ride while drunk. The player character will confusingly call for a taxi using lines unique to only the moment the player is drunk.
Drinking can be done at any of these bars accessible by the protagonist and their friends:
- Comrades Bar, Broker.
- Steinway Beer Garden, Dukes.
- Club Liberty, Algonquin.
- Lucky Winkles, Algonquin.
- Jerkov's Bar, Algonquin.
The Ballad of Gay Tony
Uniquely, in the Ballad of Gay Tony, Luis has the option to drink alone, and for free at either Hercules or Maisonette 9 at the bar. As he drinks successive shots, Luis will become increasingly drunk until he finally collapses in a heap and blacks out. This leads to Luis randomly waking up somewhere around Liberty City, often in places that are either hard to get to or simply odd. Some locations include:
- Inside the Statue of Happiness.
- In mid-air, falling with a parachute from a great height.
- On top of the skip in the middle of Star Junction.
- In Middle Park.
- In a dumpster.
- Floating in a fountain.
- In GTA IV, an animation for the player getting into a vehicle while drunk is unusually absent - if the player is entering a vehicle, instead of stumbling around, he will instantly become "sober" for a few seconds while the normal car entering sequence goes. The camera, however, still moves irregularly.
- If the player opts to fly a helicopter after getting drunk in GTA IV, they will not suffer any of the adverse effects of being drunk while driving.
- Niko's "YELLOW CAAAR!" line uttered when drunk and calling for a taxi in GTA IV achieved a brief memetic status on the Internet in 2008.
- Michelle is the only character in GTA IV that will not emerge from any bar drunk. Niko then remarks this by saying things such as "I think I was the only one drinking that stuff down."