CAN YOUR PASSENGERS DRINK IN THE CAR?
May 6, 2016 - Drunk Driving Accidents
You know that you can’t actively drink while driving a vehicle, but what about your passengers? Is is legal for someone to be drinking in the back seat while you’re driving?
In Pennsylvania, it’s not. The open container laws were created to stop exactly this type of situation, and they make it illegal to have any type of alcohol open in your vehicle. This means that a passenger who is holding an open beer, for example, would be in violation of those laws.
This is important for people not from Pennsylvania to remember, as well, since open container laws are set on a state-by-state basis, and not all states have them. Activities than may not be illegal elsewhere could be in violation of the law in Pennsylvania, so never assume you know what you can and cannot do based on outside laws.
These laws were originally set up to help stop drunk driving. If the container couldn’t even be open, it made it harder for drivers who were pulled over to just set a bottle aside and claim they hadn’t had anything to drink. Having the open bottle itself was still a violation.
This is also the reason that some restaurants will put your wine in a sealed plastic bag if you order the whole bottle and then you don’t drink the entire thing. By sealing it, they’re allowing you to take it home without violating the open container laws.
Where you involved in an accident involving a driver who had open containers in his or her car? If so, you need to know your legal rights to seek compensation for any injuries.
Source: FIndLaw, “Can Passengers Drink Alcohol In a Car?,” accessed May 06, 2016