Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. Re: Open Container law - so if you take home a bottle a wine from a party, it's still against the law? If even if the driver didn't drink? My parents don't drink so when we have dinner there, we usually bring home the wine. We've been breaking the law??
Dear Juneau Resident,
You can legally take the wine home it just has to be corked and stuck in the trunk. Hey, what a good reason to buy wine in a box. That way it won't roll around in the trunk as much. If your car doesn't have a trunk, the container of alcohol has to be put into another container and put behind the last upright seat in the vehicle. See the law in its entirety below:
Sec. 28.35.029. Open container.
(a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle on a highway or vehicular way or area, when there is an open bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, except as provided in (b) of this section.
(b) Except as provided in AS 28.33.130 , a person may transport an open bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage
(1) in the trunk of a motor vehicle;
(2) on a motor driven cycle, or behind the last upright seat in a motor home, station wagon, hatchback, or similar trunkless vehicle, if the open bottle, can, or other receptacle is enclosed within another container;
(3) behind a solid partition that separates the vehicle driver from the area normally occupied by passengers; or
(4) if the open bottle, can, or other receptacle is in the possession of a passenger in a motor vehicle for which the owner receives direct monetary compensation and that has a capacity of 12 or more persons.
(c) In this section
(1) "alcoholic beverage" has the meaning given in AS 04.21.080 (b);
(2) [Repealed, Sec. 29 ch 3 SLA 1992].
(3) "motor vehicle" means a vehicle for which a driver's license is required;
(4) "open" includes having a broken seal;
(5) "passenger compartment" means the area normally occupied by the driver and passengers and includes a utility or glove compartment accessible to the driver or a passenger while the motor vehicle is being operated.
(d) A person who violates (a) of this section is guilty of an infraction.