Every State That Shockingly Lets Passengers Drink While You Drive
How is this still a thing?
Motor Biscuit recently put together a list of states where a passenger riding in a personal vehicle can still have an open container of alcohol.
Which States Allow Passengers To Have Open Alcohol Containers?
Given what we know about alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities, its surprising this is still allowed today, let alone that it was ever a thing to begin with.
The following states still allow passengers to crack open a can of beer or bottle of liquor while riding shotgun:
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
An open container includes everything from a bottle or can to a flask you filled before leaving the house.
Arkansas and West Virginia Won't Allow You To Drink
All of the states on the list allow the passenger to have an open container AND drink alcohol with the exception of Arkansas and West Virginia.
According to to Motor Biscuit, those two states let passengers carry the open container in the vehicle without drinking it.
Think of this as almost being like taking home leftovers from a restaurant.
"This law also allows you to save and transport a bottle of wine or liquor that you began to drink, but want to take home," the website states.
Other States Allow It, But There's More You Need To Know
Open container laws can be tricky in some of the other states on the list. There are certainly additional rules you need to know before drinking in the passenger seat.
Forbes says Alaska only allows open containers "behind a solid partition that separates the vehicle driver from the area normally occupied by passengers."
Virginia's law is even more complicated and actually puts the driver at risk.
According to Forbes, having an open containers in a car in Virginia "creates a rebuttal legal presumption that the driver has been drinking. In other words, if you're pulled over in Virginia with an open container in the car the officer can assume you, the driver, were drinking."
There's Still One State That Allows Drivers To Drink
We are down to one state in the U.S. that allows drivers to drink while operating a motor vehicle.
Mississippi is the only state that allows drivers to drink while driving as long as they stay under the legal limit.
"As long as the driver remains under the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol concentration, they are free to operate in Mississippi without penalty," Forbes reports.
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