|BILL AS INTRODUCED||2007-2008|
Introduced by Representatives Baker of West Rutland and Howrigan of Fairfield
Subject: Motor vehicles; possession of open container by passenger; operator with alcohol concentration of 0.00
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to permit a passenger in a motor vehicle to possess an open container containing alcoholic beverages if the operator has an alcohol concentration of 0.00.
AN ACT RELATING TO AN EXCEPTION TO THE OPEN CONTAINER LAW FOR DESIGNATED DRIVERS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 23 V.S.A. § 1134a is amended to read:
§ 1134a. MOTOR VEHICLE PASSENGER; CONSUMPTION OR
POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL
(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a passenger in a motor vehicle shall not consume alcoholic beverages or possess any open container which contains alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of any motor vehicle on a public highway. As used in this section, “alcoholic beverages” shall have the same meaning as “intoxicating liquor” as defined in section 1200 of this title.
(b) For the purposes of this section, “passenger area” shall mean the area designed to seat the operator and passengers while the motor vehicle is in operation and any area that is readily accessible to the operator or passengers while in their seating positions, including the glove compartment, unless the glove compartment is locked. In a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk, the term shall exclude the area behind the last upright seat or any area not normally occupied by the operator or passengers.
(c) A person, other than the operator, may possess an open container which contains alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of a motor vehicle:
(1) designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation or in the living quarters of a motor home or trailer coach; or
(2) if the operator has an alcohol concentration of 0.00 as demonstrated by an evidentiary test of the person’s breath administered by a law enforcement officer.
(d) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $25.00.
The Vermont General Assembly
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