I grew up in a semi-rural area when we ignored seatbelts, rode in the back of pickups and the driver having a pinch between the cheek & gums and an open container of beer between his or her legs was commonplace.

Those days are long gone and these days, no one else in the vehicle can have an open container either. But in Montana, that may change, If House Bill 206 goes through.

“A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REVISING LAWS REGARDING OPEN CONTAINER LAWS; PROVIDING THAT A PASSENGER MAY HAVE AN OPEN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTAINER; AMENDING SECTIONS 61-8-460 AND 61-8-461, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE."

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

 

Section 1.  Section 61-8-460, MCA, is amended to read:

"61-8-460.  Unlawful possession of open alcoholic beverage container in motor vehicle on highway. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person commits the offense of unlawful possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle if the person knowingly possesses an open alcoholic beverage container within the passenger area of a motor vehicle on a highway.”

 

There are many subsections but basically, while the driver can’t drink when driving, passengers will be able to, if the bill goes through.

MADD and The CDC has some dated sobering facts and most law enforcement officials

A previous article shows “Teton County leads the state in DUI arrests, per capita. 162 out of every 10,000 drivers will be arrested for drunken or impaired driving in Teton County every year.

Carbon County has the second highest DUI rate. All told, eight of the state’s 23 counties average over 100 DUI arrests for every 10,000 drivers annually.”

 

With these statistics in mind, many are concerned that allowing open containers of alcohol within the cabin with the driver, there may be temptation for the driver to imbibe.

Montana is considering this relaxing of the rules. Would you support or deny that here in Wyoming?