Montana law prohibits any person from knowingly possessing an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle on a highway or public road. This restriction applies to all persons within the car, including the driver and passengers.
An open alcoholic beverage is any container (with alcohol inside) that is open, has a broken seal, or has some contents removed. Because “alcoholic beverage” includes any drink with .5% alcohol or more, this may exclude some non-alcoholic beer and mixers.
Drivers are never permitted to possess an open alcoholic beverage on their person. However, alcohol is permitted in certain areas of the vehicle and in certain situations.
An open alcoholic beverage may legally be stored inside a vehicle if:
And an open alcoholic container may legally be possessed and consumed by a passenger if:
An open container violation is a non-criminal misdemeanor in Montana. A conviction will result in a fine of up to $100. A violation cannot include additional fees, be included on a driving record, affect vehicle insurance, affect a driver’s license, or include jail time.