Open container law for RVs?

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Minnie&Mickey

I want to live at the Fort!
Joined
May 15, 2000
We are getting ready to take the RV down to the beach in Florida next week. My daughter and her boyfriend will be riding down with us (they are both over the age of 21). I'm not sure that this will even occur, but if the boyfriend wants to drink a beer in the RV on the ride down, is it legal? My husband will be doing all of the driving, so we don't need to be concerned about drinking and driving, I just don't know how the open container laws apply to a passenger in an RV. Is it specific to the state you are driving in? We will be driving in Georgia and Florida.
 

mouseketeer_mom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Ohhhhh, such a great question! I would imagine that your RV is considered a passenger vehicle and therefore the law would be the same as for a car in each state. However, I know my DH has toted me and a few girlfriends to concerts in the RV just so we could.... ahem... enjoy ourselves on the trip to and fro.

Thinking of it this way makes me realize, perhaps we've incurred a few non written violations.:confused3
 

stpetedisneydad

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
You need to check each states "open container" laws. All are different but I think most have exceptions for limos, passenger buses and motor homes. Here is some info I found on a lawyers website regarding Florida;

Florida's open container laws are pretty straight forward. The driver of a vehicle can be charged with an open container violation where alcohol is present and readily available to be consumed. This means that if the bottle is not locked in a glove box, trunk, or is withing the reach of the driver, an open container violation is chargable. Secondly, if a passenger of the vehicle is drinking or has accessible alcohol within his reach, the driver and passenger can be charged with open container. In that situation the driver will be charged with a moving traffic violation and the passenger will be charged with a non-moving traffic violation. Both violations are considered misdemeanors and are punishable by a fine under $500. The only exceptions to this rule are if the driver is a licensed limo driver with a proper class d license, or if the vehicle in question is a motorhome 21 feet or greater in length. Be careful in Florida too, because you could be charged with open container even if you are not in a vehicle. Possession of an alcoholic beverage by any public road is also prohibited and can cost you some money too. Take care, if you have any other questions or concerns call me at 305.670.3119 or email through my website at http://www.305duilawyer.com Sincerely, Joseph P Vredevelt, Esq.


And here is some info for Georgia:

Open Container Law

The law defines "open alcoholic beverage container" as any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage and: (1) is open or has a broken seal; or (2) the contents of which are partially removed.

The law prohibits anyone from consuming any alcoholic beverage, or possessing any open alcoholic beverage container in the passenger area of any motor vehicle which is on the roadway or shoulder of any public highway. Only a person who consumes an alcoholic beverage or possesses an open alcoholic beverage container will be charged with an open container violation; however, a driver who is alone in a motor vehicle shall be deemed to be in possession of any open alcoholic beverage container. Anyone who violates this law is subject to a fine not to exceed $200.

This provision does not apply to any passenger in the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation or in the living quarters of a motor home or house trailer.


Hope this helps.
 
  • des1954

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2007
    Thanks for posting this, SPDD!! I was always curious (not concerned) about open containers regarding RV's in Fla. Now, we know!
     

    BigDaddyRog

    <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2007
    In the words of Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls)...."And if ya don't know...now ya know!"

    Nice research there StPeteDisneyDad!!!
     

    Shan-man

    ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2008
    You can add Illinois to Georgia and Florida as being states where consumption in the living quarters of a motorhome is permissible:

    (625 ILCS 5/11‑502) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11‑502)
    Sec. 11‑502. Transportation or possession of alcoholic liquor in a motor vehicle.
    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) and in Section 6‑33 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934, no driver may transport, carry, possess or have any alcoholic liquor within the passenger area of any motor vehicle upon a highway in this State except in the original container and with the seal unbroken.
    (b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) and in Section 6‑33 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934, no passenger may carry, possess or have any alcoholic liquor within any passenger area of any motor vehicle upon a highway in this State except in the original container and with the seal unbroken.
    (c) This Section shall not apply to the passengers in a limousine when it is being used for purposes for which a limousine is ordinarily used, the passengers on a chartered bus when it is being used for purposes for which chartered buses are ordinarily used or on a motor home or mini motor home as defined in Section 1‑145.01 of this Code. However, the driver of any such vehicle is prohibited from consuming or having any alcoholic liquor in or about the driver's area. Any evidence of alcoholic consumption by the driver shall be prima facie evidence of such driver's failure to obey this Section. For the purposes of this Section, a limousine is a motor vehicle of the first division with the passenger compartment enclosed by a partition or dividing window used in the for‑hire transportation of passengers and operated by an individual in possession of a valid Illinois driver's license of the appropriate classification pursuant to Section 6‑104 of this Code.

    and, the section that defines a motorhome...

    (625 ILCS 5/1‑145.01) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1‑145.01)
    Sec. 1‑145.01. Motor home, mini motor home or van camper. A self‑contained motor vehicle, not used commercially, designed or permanently converted to provide living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use, with direct walk through access to the living quarters from the driver's seat. Such vehicles must include at least four of the following:
    a) A cooking facility with an on‑board fuel source;
    b) A gas or electric refrigerator;
    c) A toilet with exterior evacuation;
    d) A heating or air conditioning system with an on‑board power or fuel source separate from the vehicle engine;
    e) A potable water supply system that includes at least a sink, a faucet, and a water tank with an exterior service supply connection;
    f) A 110‑125 volt electric power supply.


    What I really need though is to find the laws for NC and SC and find a cheap driver!

    :santa:
     

    Shan-man

    ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2008
    Add NC:

    § 20‑138.7. Transporting an open container of alcoholic beverage.
    (a) Offense. – No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway or the right‑of‑way of a highway:
    (1) While there is an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area in other than the unopened manufacturer's original container; and
    (2) While the driver is consuming alcohol or while alcohol remains in the driver's body.
    (a1) Offense. – No person shall possess an alcoholic beverage other than in the unopened manufacturer's original container, or consume an alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of a motor vehicle while the motor vehicle is on a highway or the right‑of‑way of a highway. For purposes of this subsection, only the person who possesses or consumes an alcoholic beverage in violation of this subsection shall be charged with this offense.
    (a2) Exception. – It shall not be a violation of subsection (a1) of this section for a passenger to possess an alcoholic beverage other than in the unopened manufacturer's original container, or for a passenger to consume an alcoholic beverage, if the container is:
    (1) In the passenger area of a motor vehicle that is designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation;
    (2) In the living quarters of a motor home or house car as defined in G.S. 20‑4.01(27)d2.; or
    (3) In a house trailer as defined in G.S. 20‑4.01(14).
    (a3) Meaning of Terms. – Under this section, the term "motor vehicle" means only those types of motor vehicles which North Carolina law requires to be registered, whether the motor vehicle is registered in North Carolina or another jurisdiction.
    (b) Subject to Implied‑Consent Law. – An offense under this section is an alcohol‑related offense subject to the implied‑consent provisions of G.S. 20‑16.2.
    (c) Odor Insufficient. – The odor of an alcoholic beverage on the breath of the driver is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that alcohol was remaining in the driver's body in violation of this section, unless the driver was offered an alcohol screening test or chemical analysis and refused to provide all required samples of breath or blood for analysis.
    (d) Alcohol Screening Test. – Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alcohol screening test may be administered to a driver suspected of violating subsection (a) of this section, and the results of an alcohol screening test or the driver's refusal to submit may be used by a law enforcement officer, a court, or an administrative agency in determining if alcohol was present in the driver's body. No alcohol screening tests are valid under this section unless the device used is one approved by the Commission for Public Health, and the screening test is conducted in accordance with the applicable regulations of the Commission as to the manner of its use.
    (e) Punishment; Effect When Impaired Driving Offense Also Charged. – Violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor for the first offense and shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. Violation of subsection (a) of this section is not a lesser included offense of impaired driving under G.S. 20‑138.1, but if a person is convicted under subsection (a) of this section and of an offense involving impaired driving arising out of the same transaction, the punishment imposed by the court shall not exceed the maximum applicable to the offense involving impaired driving, and any minimum applicable punishment shall be imposed. Violation of subsection (a1) of this section by the driver of the motor vehicle is a lesser‑included offense of subsection (a) of this section. A violation of subsection (a) shall be considered a moving violation for purposes of G.S. 20‑16(c).
    Violation of subsection (a1) of this section shall be an infraction and shall not be considered a moving violation for purposes of G.S. 20‑16(c).
    (f) Definitions. – If the seal on a container of alcoholic beverages has been broken, it is opened within the meaning of this section. For purposes of this section, "passenger area of a motor vehicle" means the area designed to seat the driver and passengers and any area within the reach of a seated driver or passenger, including the glove compartment. The area of the trunk or the area behind the last upright back seat of a station wagon, hatchback, or similar vehicle shall not be considered part of the passenger area. The term "alcoholic beverage" is as defined in G.S. 18B‑101(4).
    (g) Pleading. – In any prosecution for a violation of subsection (a) of this section, the pleading is sufficient if it states the time and place of the alleged offense in the usual form and charges that the defendant drove a motor vehicle on a highway or the right‑of‑way of a highway with an open container of alcoholic beverage after drinking.
    In any prosecution for a violation of subsection (a1) of this section, the pleading is sufficient if it states the time and place of the alleged offense in the usual form and charges that (i) the defendant possessed an open container of alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a motor vehicle while the motor vehicle was on a highway or the right‑of‑way of a highway, or (ii) the defendant consumed an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a motor vehicle while the motor vehicle was on a highway or the right‑of‑way of a highway.
    (h) Limited Driving Privilege. – A person who is convicted of violating subsection (a) of this section and whose drivers license is revoked solely based on that conviction may apply for a limited driving privilege as provided for in G.S. 20‑179.3. The judge may issue the limited driving privilege only if the driver meets the eligibility requirements of G.S. 20‑179.3, other than the requirement in G.S. 20‑179.3(b)(1)c. G.S. 20‑179.3(e) shall not apply. All other terms, conditions, and restrictions provided for in G.S. 20‑179.3 shall apply. G.S. 20‑179.3, rather than this subsection, governs the issuance of a limited driving privilege to a person who is convicted of violating subsection (a) of this section and of driving while impaired as a result of the same transaction. (1995, c. 506, s. 9; 2000‑155, s. 4; 2002‑25, s. 1; 2006‑66, s. 21.7; 2007‑182, s. 2.)
     
  • disney4dan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 16, 2007
    This is an awesome post - one we can all use! I'll have to search for nearby states up here to be sure!
     

    Minnie&Mickey

    I want to live at the Fort!
    Joined
    May 15, 2000
    Wow! Thanks so much for all of the information, StPeteDisneyDad! Looks like I won't need to be concerned if the boyfriend decides he wants a nice cold beer!
     
  • medic9016

    Free Agent
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2008
    South Carolina

    SECTION 61-4-110. Open containers in motor vehicle.
    It is unlawful for a person to have in his possession, except in the trunk or luggage compartment, beer or wine in an open container in a motor vehicle of any kind while located upon the public highways or highway rights of way of this State. This section must not be construed to prohibit the transporting of beer or wine in a closed container, and this section does not apply to vehicles parked in legal parking places during functions such as sporting events where law enforcement officers are on duty to perform traffic control duties. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.

    For purposes of this section, beer or wine means any beer or wine containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume.
     

    Memph1s

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2002
    Now if only I could sit in the popup living quarter while the DW drove I could have a cold one on the way home. Guess thats not going to happen for several reasons. Just one more reason to upgrade.
     

    chiefcop

    "The answer to this last question will determine w
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2007
    I hope this helps?

    In Texas:

    As of Sept. 1, 2001, it is illegal to possess an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. House Bill 5, passed by the 77th Texas Legislature, makes it a Class C misdemeanor to possess an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a motor vehicle which is on a public highway or the right-of-way adjacent to a public highway.

    Under the new law, an “open container” is a bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage and that has been opened, that has a broken seal, or the contents of which are partially removed.


    The “passenger area” is the area of a motor vehicle designed for the seating of the operator and passengers. It does not include a locked glove compartment or a similar storage container that is locked, the trunk of a vehicle, or the area behind the last upright seat of the vehicle if the vehicle does not have a trunk.


    A “public highway” includes any public road, street, highway, interstate, or other publicly-maintained way if any part is open for public use for the purpose of motor vehicle travel.

    The motor vehicle does not have to be moving for a violation to occur.
    Under the law, a person commits an open container offense by possessing an open container in the passenger area of a motor vehicle regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked. There is an exception for people who are passengers in a bus, taxi, or limousine; or who are in the living quarters of a motorized house coach or motorized house trailer, including a self-contained camper, motor home, or recreational vehicle.

    Now for my Public Service Announcement...

    :cool2: In the majority of alcohol-related crashes, an open container is always present. Please remember alcohol and cars don’t mix. :thumbsup2



    http://www.texasdwi.org/

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Traffic Injury Control/Articles/Associated Files/MobilizationCrackdown.pdf



    **********ALWAYS REMEMBER TO DRINK RESPONSIBLY**********
     

    clkelley

    <font color=purple>I squealed really loud!!<br><fo
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2001
    Geez, I just realized we broke those laws this weekend. We carried the bottle of Kahlua and the bottle of Amaretto (both previously opened) in the the backseat of the truck both directions down to WDW. We didn't want them in the back of the truck due to the heat (and less chance of sliding around a lot in the backseat). They were in a bag wrapped in towels. We were just trying to keep them from getting broken or exploding from the heat. We never had any intention of opening them while on the road!!
     

    BigDaddyRog

    <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2007
    CAROL!!!!!!! It sounds to me like you went through a lot of trouble to CONCEAL the OPEN BOTTLES of HARD LIQUOR and carry the ACROSS STATE LINES.....hiding them in a bag in the backseat AND wrapping them in a towel???? Ive heard of people going through less trouble to conceal a dead body.....you are such a CRIMINAL!!!!:thumbsup2
     

    clkelley

    <font color=purple>I squealed really loud!!<br><fo
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2001
    CAROL!!!!!!! It sounds to me like you went through a lot of trouble to CONCEAL the OPEN BOTTLES of HARD LIQUOR and carry the ACROSS STATE LINES.....hiding them in a bag in the backseat AND wrapping them in a towel???? Ive heard of people going through less trouble to conceal a dead body.....you are such a CRIMINAL!!!!:thumbsup2
    Oh cool!! I'm a Criminal:lmao:
     
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