• Sep 12th 2012 at 8:59AM
  • 42
We're going to make this very, very simple for you. No one has any business operating a vehicle under the influence or driving with an open container in the cabin regardless of local law. That said, the good people at Car and Driver have taken the time to work up a quick infographic touching on open container laws in various states (click here to view).

A total of 11 states are either noncompliant with federal guidelines prohibiting open alcoholic beverages in the passenger compartment or don't have a law against open containers on the books. Those states see federal funding directed from construction activities to safety programs as a result.

That's not to say those 11 are easy on those who imbibe and drive. As Car and Driver points out, all 50 states now have ignition-interlock laws for citizens convicted of a DUI. Those laws require a breathalizer to be installed in the offender's personal vehicle. If the driver doesn't blow a perfect zero blood alcohol level, the car won't start.


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  • 42 Comments
      jbm0866
      • 2 Years Ago
      First of all, I am against drinking and driving...but "open container laws" make very little sense to me. I understand the idea behind such laws, but the common sense approach says that if the driver is not impaired, and the alcohol itself is still legal for non-drivers to drink...what is the problem? I can see the probable cause for giving the driver a breathalyzer if the passengers are drinking/drunk...but if he/she passes then it should end there.
        montegod7ss
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jbm0866
        You won't fit in at all here with these HuffPo bleeding-heart fucksticks. They want to punish people for what they might do, not for what they do. Let's not get into the fact that these same people don't want me to have a beer on the way home, but they'll drink a venti half-caff non-fat soy latte at 195° precisely while putting on their makeup and turned around yelling at little Timmy in the back seat.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      Breathalizer equipment is now so very accurate, even the portable ones, that open container laws are assinine. If an open alcohol container in a vehicle makes an officer suspicious that the driver is intoxicated, he can run the test, and if he's below the very low limit of .08 then his driving is not impaired and the open container is completely irrelevant. After all, what the heck is the point in arresting someone with an "open" (hand recorked) wine bottles in the backseat if he hasn't drunk a sip of it? RETARDED.
      Rob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Moved to Louisiana not too long ago, its common to see people stop by the gas station and grab a tallboy on their way home from work. Don't get yourself drunk and the police leave you alone about it. Definitely different from what I'm used to, but it seems to work just fine.
        Jake
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob
        Brown paper bag; no probable cause. I think that is common everywhere.
      chromal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think most open container laws are a bit overbearing. There's not much of a convincing argument that preventing passengers from drinking make a driver any safer, though the rationale of the law is certainly understandable (e.g.: a driver could hand off their open alcoholic beverage to a passenger if stopped.) What I guess I don't understand is why any restrictions on containers is needed when roadside sobriety tests and blood alcohol level checks are so widespread today. Regardless of a container, you'll fail a sobriety test and get hit with DUI/DWI, and that is that, or should be.
      RobbieP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Driving in Los Angeles in a convertible I am constantly appalled by the number of drivers that are not drinking while they drive, but are smoking weed while they drive ... I know an aside but crap it really makes my blood boil! After all you don't want a stoner behind you do you ... what with that and texting!
      Proghog
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the same way the Feds enforce the drinking age.
      ZPrime
      • 2 Years Ago
      While I firmly believe that the driver should not be drinking, I don't understand why the laws are about "open container" other than because people can't be trusted. If I'm sober and driving, there should be no reason my passengers can't drink... but because too many people are idiots and *will* drink and drive, the laws all have to be defined as "open container = illegal" because Joe Blow will just give his beer to his passenger. :/
      Proghog
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't see a problem with passengers drinking in a car just as long as the driver doesn't partake. It is no different than if you go to a bar and you or one of your friend's is the DD there is still the temptation to have a drink you just have to be able to say no. I also happen to be lucky enough to live in one of those states that still doesn't have a law on the books about open beverages in your vehicle.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Having a "road soda" is all part of growing up in the country. City folk won't understand, but we don't expect them to. Drinking and driving is a victimless crime, and until the legal system was bought and paid for there was no way to be convicted of one in this country. Driving while intoxicated is victimless, unless you hit someone then there is a victim and you need to be brought to justice. What a bunch of nanny weaklings that wring their hands at even the slightest choice that goes against their beliefs, but will scream from the highest peaks about free choice on abortion.
        Basil Exposition
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        A road soda (note the singular) is fine, but driving while intoxicated is a completely different story and most definitely is not fine.
        IBx27
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        You are the worst kind of moron. Let's see how your opinion stands when your family gets hit by a drunk driver; everything taken away from you in an instant because someone like you thinks it's ok to drive while intoxicated.
          montegod7ss
          • 2 Years Ago
          @IBx27
          You are the worst kind of human. Having a beer doesn't automatically make me run a bus load of nuns off a cliff. If I drink and drive, or just hurt someone for being too stupid then there are consequences. What someone with an IQ in the double digits realizes is that unless there is a crime, meaning a victim, there is no reason to be punished. Punishment is for a crime, not for doing something that might maybe possibly on a slim chance cause harm to someone. DO us all a favor and sterilize yourself, then go blow your brains all over the ceiling to save us from any more of your back talk bullshit and taking away what this country stands for. No victim, no crime, is that too hard for you retards to understand?
      jesscott
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those that don't understand I present: NANNY STATE 101 : THE GOVERNMENT ALWAYS KNOWS WHATS BEST FOR YOU. SHUT UP AND DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD Thanks you, this has been a Public Service Announcement
      ♬ I came to win ♬
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not even gonna comment on the fact that most of the state's listed were southern states .... oops
        ckm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @♬ I came to win ♬
        Never knew Alaska, Wyoming, Delaware, Missouri and Connecticut were Southern states - learn something new every day.
        MONTEGOD7SS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @♬ I came to win ♬
        I'm not even gonna comment on the fact that the Kennedys have killed more people drinking and driving than I have... oops
      SheldonRoss
      • 2 Years Ago
      "We're going to make this very, very simple for you ... We're douchebags who believe our opinion is canon."
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