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Old 05-11-2019, 07:40 AM   #1
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Open bottles of alcohol

Just curious, after seeing my in laws alcohol cabinet in their camper, is it illegal to travel with it in Michigan. Basically does it count as open intox?

Thoughts?

Oh in Michigan.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:54 AM   #2
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I’m assuming you mean an motor home. Not a trailer. If it’s a trailer it looks ok from my quick research.

This is from a lawyers website.

Consuming alcohol while in a motor vehicle is illegal in Michigan, whether the driver or passenger is drinking. State law requires that any open alcohol containers are stored in the trunk, so they are not at easy access to those inside the vehicle. Any container of alcohol in a vehicle should not be uncapped, open, or have a broken seal. This applies not only to roadways and interstates, but parking lots or any area that the public has access to. Open containers may be stored in a locked glove compartment for transport if your vehicle does not have a trunk. It may also be transported behind the last upright seat of your vehicle, or in an area not easily accessible to the driver of the vehicle, or any passenger. Harsh criminal punishment may result if you fail to comply with Michigan open intoxicant regulations. Michigan Penal Code Section 257.624a provides more information regarding the state's open intoxicant laws.

https://www.michigan-drunk-driving-l...r-vehicle.html

As a Missouri resident all my life I find these laws confusing. There are only a handful of counties with an open container law. At a state level there is none and passengers are free to drink.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:24 AM   #3
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Iím assuming you mean an motor home. Not a trailer. If itís a trailer it looks ok from my quick research.

This is from a lawyers website.

Consuming alcohol while in a motor vehicle is illegal in Michigan, whether the driver or passenger is drinking. State law requires that any open alcohol containers are stored in the trunk, so they are not at easy access to those inside the vehicle. Any container of alcohol in a vehicle should not be uncapped, open, or have a broken seal. This applies not only to roadways and interstates, but parking lots or any area that the public has access to. Open containers may be stored in a locked glove compartment for transport if your vehicle does not have a trunk. It may also be transported behind the last upright seat of your vehicle, or in an area not easily accessible to the driver of the vehicle, or any passenger. Harsh criminal punishment may result if you fail to comply with Michigan open intoxicant regulations. Michigan Penal Code Section 257.624a provides more information regarding the state's open intoxicant laws.

https://www.michigan-drunk-driving-l...r-vehicle.html

As a Missouri resident all my life I find these laws confusing. There are only a handful of counties with an open container law. At a state level there is none and passengers are free to drink.


Travel trailer. Thanks for the info!
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:32 AM   #4
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Open containers in a living area of an RV should not never be a problem.
If they are within reach of the driver, then it universally is.
In any event, probable cause would be needed to search for open containers that aren't in plain view.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:57 PM   #5
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IANAL but if I read the Michigan law correctly transporting open containers is not illegal but drinking in the vehicle, while parked for the night, is. Weird!
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:03 PM   #6
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Open containers in a living area of an RV should not never be a problem.
If they are within reach of the driver, then it universally is.
In any event, probable cause would be needed to search for open containers that aren't in plain view.

Therein lies the operative phrase. In plain sight especially.

In a TT or 5'er ....no problem because there is no access to the alcohol from the TV.

A Class A, B, or C they should probably be stored in a rear most compartment & have no evidence (such as your drink container with an alcoholic beverage residue left unwashed) that any drinking activity was taking place while on a public roadway.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:07 PM   #7
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IANAL but if I read the Michigan law correctly transporting open containers is not illegal but drinking in the vehicle, while parked for the night, is. Weird!
Read what the applicable statute actually says (link at bottom), and not the sloppy language of the lawyer's interpretation. Frankly, I'd avoid using an attorney who was this sloppy in his writing.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:14 PM   #8
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Cold beer in the fridge of the motor home and there may even be an empty beer can or two in the trash from the previous nights stop. But no alcohol consumed while driving and would blow a big fat zero on a breathalyzer test. Usually a couple open liquor bottles in the pantry by the fridge.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:30 PM   #9
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If you were sober driving the tow vehicle, I think you would be hard pressed to find any officer that would give you a hard time about open bottles in an rv. Im sure there is some sort of argument that that is a/your dwelling and does not fall under motor vehicle regulations.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:32 PM   #10
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Cold beer in the fridge of the motor home and there may even be an empty beer can or two in the trash from the previous nights stop. But no alcohol consumed while driving and would blow a big fat zero on a breathalyzer test. Usually a couple open liquor bottles in the pantry by the fridge.

Just make sure the "empties" aren't in the cup holders up front (Driver/Passenger area). Those are the ones that get Law Enforcement Officers attention every time. Even if you "blow zero" you still get a ticket for open container(s) if they can extract even one drop from the can/bottle.
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