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by Russ and Tina De Maris
Here’s a question that can trip up an RVer in a hurry: Is it OK to have an “open container” of alcohol in your motorhome while traveling down America’s byways?
A frequent comment made by the fireside and in Internet RV chat rooms is, “Sure, no problem!” In some places you’d be right and, in others, legally wrong. Here’s the scoop:
Open container laws are generally written to keep a driver from having too easy an access to liquor while keeping his vehicle safely on the road. And those laws are not a federal mandate, but a state’s rights matter. Hence, making a blanket statement could lead to a traffic ticket — and some of them are pretty steep indeed.
In California, a passenger in a motorhome in possession of an open alcohol container is not a problem; neither is a situation like this “citation-able” in Maine, nor Montana. It gets trickier in Florida — how big is your motorhome? If you’ve got a 20-foot motorhome, an open container is a violation.
Bottom line: If having an open container of alcohol while on the road is important to you, you’re highly advised to check out the laws of any state you plan on RVing through before you get there. Here’s a website with some guidelines.
Then I also have a simple solution to this issue, have a trailer, then it is in a different vehicle, not in the drivers compartment at all. Problem solved (well for some)