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Open Containers Of Alcohol In A Car?

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Truman42

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Had a discussion at work today at lunchtime about wether or not its illegal to have open containers of alcohol in a car like it is in the USA.

Some of us beleive that as long as the driver is under the limit his passengers are allowed to get shit faced, and drink what they want.

But one guy says its the law that no open containers of alcohol are allowed fullstop in a car, similar to the law in the USA.

I know the law here in Victoria was changed (to be inline with the rest of Aust) about 6 months ago, that prohibits you from driving and having an alcoholic drink. Prior to this you could have a beer while driving provided you were under the limit. But does this stop your passengers from having a drink too?
 

tricache

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Good question...I always thought any open bottle of alcohol in the car (be it the drivers or the passengers) is illegal. Would it be classed as drinking in public? Thus the Liquor Act would come into act and but then illegal.

Good old grey areas...
 

bum

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I know the law here in Victoria was changed (to be inline with the rest of Aust) about 6 months ago, that prohibits you from driving and having an alcoholic drink. Prior to this you could have a beer while driving provided you were under the limit. But does this stop your passengers from having a drink too?
The change you're talking about relates specifically to drivers only. No clue if there are separate laws prohibiting a passenger from drinking in a moving car but you'd imagine that if passengers were going to have similar constaints then the change would have been made at the same time. Prior to the change it was legal for a driver to be drinking while driving so I can't imagine a law pre-dating this change that covered passengers only.
 

.DJ.

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I asked my friend... (ok, someone I know ;) ) who is in Highway Patrol, and he says you are allowed...
 

tricache

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I asked my friend... (ok, someone I know ;) ) who is in Highway Patrol, and he says you are allowed...
I wonder if that is just NSW (going on your location, I'm not stalking you :p ) since every state is always different
 

Truman42

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I asked my friend... (ok, someone I know ;) ) who is in Highway Patrol, and he says you are allowed...

So passenegers are allowed to drink and get shit faced providing the driver isnt over the limit, and as of 6 months ago cannot even take a sip whilst driving??
 

drsmurto

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In South Australia (possibly different in other states and given their convict heritage, understandably so) there is no such law that prohibits you from drinking a beer whilst driving.
 

bum

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That's very decent of them. A quiet beer can break up the tedium of the long drive to WA.
 

Clutch

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I work for the QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads and I can tell you, open containers of alcohol are illegal up here.
 

Dave70

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Had a discussion at work today at lunchtime about wether or not its illegal to have open containers of alcohol in a car like it is in the USA.
It varies from state to state.

In one place, its legal to have an open can of beer and discharge a firearm from the comfort of your vehicle. Cant remember where, but I think it was Arizona.
 

Malted

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Road Rules 2008 [NSW] Rule 298-1: A driver must not consume alcohol while driving. Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
 

tricache

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It varies from state to state.

In one place, its legal to have an open can of beer and discharge a firearm from the comfort of your vehicle. Cant remember where, but I think it was Arizona.
Texas :lol: I think its illegal NOT to open a beer and discharge a firearm from your vehicle
 

Parks

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I work for the QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads and I can tell you, open containers of alcohol are illegal up here.
I'd be interested to know how those "party bus" operations are allowed to work then?

Either way, if a cop busts you for your passengers having a beer on the road he's having a bad day...
 

tricache

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I'd be interested to know how those "party bus" operations are allowed to work then?

Either way, if a cop busts you for your passengers having a beer on the road he's having a bad day...
I would assume the same way a bar or pub does...liquor licence, except it would be to the vehicle itself
 

pk.sax

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As hinted above, I've always understood it to be the "drinking in Public" rule.

Some states consider what you do in your car to be 'carried out in public'. If there is a law or local restriction on drinking in public where you get caught, you could be charged. On the other hand, if the state considers what is done in a motor vehicle to be 'done inside private premises' then ....

What'd be interesting is what is considered 'in public'? A parked car is private or public?

I have a friend in GA, usa, they apparently all flock to the car park between class breaks to sit in their cars and smoke. It is illegal to smoke on the campus but it is legal to do whatever the **** you like in your car. So much for smoking in confined spaces....
 

Parks

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I would assume the same way a bar or pub does...liquor licence, except it would be to the vehicle itself
Makes sense.

IMO the law (if there is one) would exist to reduce possible distractions to the driver, and I would think driving one of those party buses would be far worse although there aren't exactly that many of them.
 

insane_rosenberg

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The old man was one of the great travelling drinkers when I was growing up on the NSW mid-north coast. But last time I was there he was nervous with me drinking as his passenger, or having empties in the back seat, with him at the wheel between 0.00 and 0.05 blood alcohol content. Apparently the local police don't take kindly to you 'hiding' your beer when you see the booze bus.

Honest officer, my son always drinks with a beer in each hand...
 

Karhunkynsi

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I've heard many things on either side of it, but most of what I've heard is it depends on the attitude of the coppers.

I.e. it *is* against the law, but if you're not being a dick or a hoon, you're more likely to get off with a warning.
 

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