is it illegal for a person to drive with an empt beer bottle in his or her back seat if they have not been drinking?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The answer to your question is based on the Colorado Open Container law below.
If there is no alcohol in the container (bottle emptied long ago and saved as a souvenir), then it is not illegal. But, evidence is a tricky thing. If the cop says the bottle looked like it had liquid consistent with alcohol inside, then the cop can probably search the container and may have reason to investigate further. If you want to transport an empty or partially empty alcohol container, put it in your TRUNK.
here is the open container law:
COLORADO REVISED STATUTES
*** This document reflects changes current through all laws passed at the First Regular Session
of the Sixty-Ninth General Assembly of the State of Colorado (2013) ***
TITLE 42. VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
REGULATION OF VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
ARTICLE 4.REGULATION OF VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
PART 13. ALCOHOL AND DRUG OFFENSES
C.R.S. 42-4-1305 (2013)
42-4-1305. Open alcoholic beverage container - motor vehicle - prohibited
(1) Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Alcoholic beverage" means a beverage as defined in 23 CFR 1270.3 (a).
(b) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on public highways but does not include a vehicle operated exclusively on a rail or rails.
(c) "Open alcoholic beverage container" means a bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage and:
(I) That is open or has a broken seal; or
(II) The contents of which are partially removed.
(d) "Passenger area" means the area designed to seat the driver and passengers while a motor vehicle is in operation and any area that is readily accessible to the driver or a passenger while in his or her seating position, including but not limited to the glove compartment.
(2) (a) Except as otherwise permitted in paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), a person while in the passenger area of a motor vehicle that is on a public highway of this state or the right-of-way of a public highway of this state may not knowingly:
(I) Drink an alcoholic beverage; or
(II) Have in his or her possession an open alcoholic beverage container.
(b) The provisions of this subsection (2) shall not apply to:
(I) Passengers, other than the driver or a front seat passenger, located in the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation;
(II) The possession by a passenger, other than the driver or a front seat passenger, of an open alcoholic beverage container in the living quarters of a house coach, house trailer, motor home, as defined in section 42-1-102 (57), or trailer coach, as defined in section 42-1-102 (106) (a);
(III) The possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in the area behind the last upright seat of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk; or
(IV) The possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in an area not normally occupied by the driver or a passenger in a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk.
(c) A person who violates the provisions of this subsection (2) commits a class A traffic infraction and shall be punished by a fine of fifty dollars and a surcharge of seven dollars and eighty cents as provided in section 42-4-1701 (4) (a) (I) (N).
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt or limit the authority of any statutory or home rule town, city, or city and county to adopt ordinances that are no less restrictive than the provisions of this section.
HISTORY: Source: L. 2005: Entire section added, p. 1187, � 1, effective July 1.
Related Questions & Answers
How do I get information on my case in Adams county court Asked 4/20/14, 1:53 am in United States Colorado Drunk Driving & DUI Law