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  1. #1

    Default Alcohol in the car?

    I am sure that this is a beginners question really but, having now done five or six big roadtrips in the US, I realise I don't actually know the answer!

    What is the law relating to carrying alcohol in the car? I suspect, just to make it more confusing, it is different state to state but, generally, what's the deal? I hear all sorts of wild claims about this subject so it'd be nice to get a definitive answer.

    Incidently, I searched for 'alcohol' on this forum and it produced 27 results. I was somewhat concerned that I'd posted on almost all of them... :s

    "Hello, my name's Craig and..."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Open Container laws

    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    What is the law relating to carrying alcohol in the car?
    In every jurisdiction****, it is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger compartment where an operator would have access to it. I don't know of any states that prohibit having un-opened alcohol containers in the vehicle.

    **** I stand corrected on this -- see this post below!

    Here is the Alabama statue (typical of many states)

    Here are the Federal requirements.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-25-2007 at 06:04 PM. Reason: added an official oops

  3. #3

    Default

    Perfect. So an unfinished bottle of JD (a crime in itself, surely?) is fine so long as it's stowed in the boot. err, trunk. That's cool, I wasn't aware of it being limited to the passenger compartment. Thanks for the response!

  4. #4
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    Default The crime? Opening a bottle of that stuff!

    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    Perfect. So an unfinished bottle of JD (a crime in itself),
    I dunno, I think opening a bottle of that stuff is the crime. Now, Gentleman Jack might be ok....

    And there are some states that prohibit alcohol consumption by the driver, but passengers over 21 can drink in the car. Wyoming is one of those states...."Under Wyoming law, drivers are barred from having an open container of alcohol, but passengers 21 years of age or older are not..."

  5. #5

    Default

    Now, you and I are gonna fall out! Gentleman Jack is good stuff though, I agree, we'll have to share a bottle of that someday :)

    I think that exception is kinda unfair. If the driver isn't allowed then there's no way the passengers should have all the fun. And, no, I'm not advocating they change the law to allow the driver to swill down a can of Stella as they're driving!

  6. #6
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    Default Quantity

    I think if you were to come across state lines with four cases of (insert favorite here), you may be subject to a bit more scrutiny, given the various tax laws in different states.

  7. #7
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    Default ...and "dry counties"

    Tim, (above) brings up a good point. I know that in certain dry counties in the USA, it is illegal to have certain quantities of booze in one's car for any reason. So, it is a tad more complicated than first presented. (That is a news flash!)

    Mark

  8. #8
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    Default I like Whiskey --

    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    Now, you and I are gonna fall out)
    Don't get me wrong, I like bourbon and some rye whiskeys, but JD, like certain Canadian whiskeys, is a bit.... unrefined for my palate. I also like certain single malt whiskeys -- but none from the Islay tradition.
    I think that exception is kinda unfair. If the driver isn't allowed then there's no way the passengers should have all the fun.
    Wyoming has tried to change that law for years -- it is always defeated. Those Wyomin'ens are stubborn lot.... In Montana, which for many years had one of the highest alcohol-related fatalities rates in the nation has adopted an open-container law but with very little teeth for enforcement -- a no-points- ticket less than $100.00

    Mark

  9. Default

    I imagine there must be a lot of spring breakers who carry alcohol in the car without any worry..?

  10. #10
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    Default Volume

    Quote Originally Posted by englebert View Post
    I imagine there must be a lot of spring breakers who carry alcohol in the car without any worry..?
    That could be summed up by figuring there are many Spring breakers, and only so many can get caught doing something on the shady side of the law.

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