If you are driving in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia, it is not illegal for passengers to drink freely from open containers of alcohol (In Mississippi, the driver is also free to imbibe while driving as long as the driver's .BAC remains below .08%.) In Arkansas and West Virginia, the passenger can possess an open container but cannot drink while in the motor vehicle or on public highways.
In the remaining 40 states and the District of Columbia, it's illegal for a passenger to drink alcohol or possess an open container while in a vehicle. These states conform to the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and by doing so are entitled to certain federal funds for highways. The TEA-21 guidelines establish that the state laws must:
Note many states have open container law exceptions that pertain to bringing home unfinished wine purchased at a restaurant.
|State||Can a passenger possess open container/consume alcohol?|