Reader Question: What is the law regarding an open liquor container in the vehicle? Is it OK if it is locked in the trunk?
Response from Lt. J. Paul Vance: The operator of a motor vehicle can not possess an “Open Container” in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, that he or she had been drinking from. However, if the operator has other occupants in the vehicle with him or her, those occupants can possess an open container, and in fact drink from it, as long as they are not operating the vehicle and are over 21.
An open container is acceptable in a locked trunk of a vehicle in any case. Any violation of this law (53a-213 “Drinking While Driving), would be “Class C Misdemeanor,” which would require a mandatory court appearance. Persons would be subject up to a $500 fine and/or up to 3 months imprisonment.
Lt. Vance spoke with Connecticut traffic enforcement officers to answer this Patch reader question.
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