Legal Question in Traffic Law in Iowa

is open container a traffic violation or a criminal violation

Asked on 10/04/13, 3:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Luedeman solo practitioner
0 users found helpful
0 attorneys agreed

It's a criminal offense, a simple misdemeanor under 321.284

321.284A OPEN CONTAINERS IN MOTOR VEHICLES --

PASSENGERS.

1. A passenger in a motor vehicle upon a public street or highway

shall not possess in the passenger area of the motor vehicle an open

or unsealed bottle, can, jar, or other receptacle containing an

alcoholic beverage. "Passenger area" means the area of a motor

vehicle designed to seat the driver and passengers while the motor

vehicle is in operation and any area that is readily accessible to

the driver or a passenger while in their seating positions, including

the glove compartment. An open or unsealed receptacle containing an

alcoholic beverage may be transported in the trunk of the motor

vehicle. An unsealed receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage may

be transported behind the last upright seat of the motor vehicle if

the motor vehicle does not have a trunk.

2. This section does not apply to a passenger being transported

in a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the

transportation of persons for compensation, or a passenger being

transported in the living quarters of a motor home, manufactured or

mobile home, travel trailer, or fifth-wheel travel trailer.

3. A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of

a simple misdemeanor punishable as a scheduled violation under

section 805.8A, subsection 14, paragraph "e".

4. The department shall not include a conviction for a violation

of this section on the individual driving record of the person

committing the violation and the conviction shall not be considered

by the department in any proceeding for suspension, revocation,

barring, or denying of the person's driver's license or upon any

application for renewal of driving privileges.

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Answered on 10/10/13, 9:16 pm

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