Transportation of an Open Container of Alcohol

Open and closed containers of all alcoholic beverages are prohibited in all commercial motor vehicles (bus, eighteen-wheeler, dump truck, etc.) except as listed below. An open container of any alcoholic beverage is prohibited in the passenger area of any motor vehicle (commercial or non-commercial) located on the highway or highway right of way - even if the vehicle is parked except as listed below.

If the seal on a container of alcoholic beverage has been broken, it is open.

"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. In the case of a station wagon, hatchback or similar vehicle, the area behind the last upright back seat is not considered part of the passenger area.

If the driver has not consumed any alcohol, an open container of a malt beverage (beer, malt liquor, ale, hard lemonade) or unfortified wine (table wine, champagne) is not prohibited:

  • In the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, manufactured and used primarily for transportation of persons for compensation (buses, taxi-cabs, etc.);
  • In the living quarters of a motor home or home car;
  • In a house trailer.

Open containers of spirituous liquor (bourbon, gin, vodka, etc.), mixed drinks or fortified wine (wine with higher alcohol content, i.e., 17% to 24%, such as sherry or port) in the passenger area of any motor vehicle is always unlawful.

The amount of unopened alcoholic beverage which may be transported without a permit is as follows:

  • Not more than 80 liters of malt beverages, other than draft malt beverages in kegs
  • Any amount of draft malt beverages in kegs
  • Not more than 20 liters of unfortified wine
  • Not more than eight liters of either fortified wine or spirituous liquor, or eight liters of the two combined.