The Law Offices of Stephen C. Brown & Associates
Free Consultations
603-841-3080

Can you drink in a car if you aren't driving?

Most readers know that you can't drink alcohol in a car while you are driving. In fact, you shouldn't drive even if you've been drinking just before getting in the car. But what about the other of-age adults in your vehicle? Can others enjoy alcoholic beverages while you drive them around?

Unless you're a limousine driver, the short answer is probably no. Most states have laws that ban open containers in vehicles, which means passengers cannot have an open bottle or other container of alcohol in the car. Even when a state doesn't have an open container law—only seven don't, and New Hampshire isn't one of them—local laws might prohibit open containers.

If the driver is not imbibing and the passengers are, then the driver is probably not going to be charged with a DUI if law enforcement officials stop the car. He or she might be charged with something related to the open container law, though, and the presence of alcohol in the vehicle does increase the chance someone might be charged incorrected with DUI.

Because most states have laws prohibiting open containers and it would be difficult to keep up with the local laws on the subject, it's best to avoid the practice altogether. If a passenger does crack a beer or enjoy a few sips from an adult-beverage bottle and it results in any type of charge for you as the driver, you do have rights. A strong criminal defense can help you fight the charges, particularly if you didn't realize what the passenger was doing at the time.

Source: FindLaw, "Can Passengers Drink Alcohol In a Car?," accessed Aug. 21, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Serious Law for Everyday People We’re here to help. Serving the community since 1991.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

direction-icon

Rochester Office
21 South Main Street
Rochester, NH 03867

Phone: 603-841-3080
Fax: 603-330-3476
Rochester Law Office Map

Laconia Office
16 Academy Street
Laconia, NH 03246

Map & Directions

Back to Top