Can Passengers Drink Alcohol In A Car?Most everyone knows the law that you cannot be under the influence of alcohol and be driving. You also cannot be drinking while you are driving, but what about the passengers in the car? Are they allowed to drink alcohol if they are not driving?
Open Container LawsAn open container law prohibits people from drinking in public. Every state defines what “public” is. Most states designate a vehicle as a public place, so by default, a passenger who is drinking an alcoholic beverage is in possession of an open container. Open container laws were made to protect communities by reducing injuries from drunk driving and disorderly conduct.
43 states have open container laws. What does that mean? That seven states do not currently have open container laws. The seven states include Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, and Connecticut. With the absence of open container laws, these seven states are technically able to let vehicle passengers consume alcohol. However, there are exceptions of local ordinances banning open containers in vehicles in areas of these states.
Mississippi is the most lenient in their laws with drinking and driving. The state even allows drivers to drink alcohol as long as they remain under the legal BAC limit which is .08%.