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Should Passengers be Allowed to Drink Alcohol in the Car?

The Wentzville Board of Aldermen discussed whether the city should create a policy to stop passengers from drinking in cars.

The Board of Aldermen held a discussion during their last meeting to determine whether the city should work on a policy forbidding alcohol consumption in vehicles.

Right now, Missouri state law forbids only the driver of a vehicle from drinking, meaning passengers in a car can drink alcohol so long as they are 21-years-of-age or older.

drafted a bill that would outlaw passengers drinking in vehicles. Harrison said not allowing passenger to drink would help police control potentially intoxicated drivers. Only party buses and limousines would be exempt from the proposed law.

“We have a lot of problems with the driver handling a drink to the passenger (when they get pulled over),” she said. “We have no mechanism to stop this.”

said he was in support of passing a law banning all alcohol consumption in vehicles.

“I find absolutely no reason for a person to be in a vehicle with an open container of alcohol,” Gosset said.

and , however, said they prefered if the state took the lead on the issue and passed a statewide ban on passengers consuming alcohol.

A bill prohibiting alcohol consumption by passengers could be up for first reading at the board’s next meeting, June 13 at 6 p.m.

What do you think? Should passengers in a car be allowed to consume alcohol? Tell us in the comments section of this story.

Andy Gross May 28, 2012 at 01:11 PM
First of all, I am not an advocate for drinking in cars. However, I don't understand why politicians continue to come up with new laws when we have other laws that exist that are not enforced. If a police officer thinks the driver is impaired, then the officer should simply test the driver. State law indicates that all drivers give consent to be tested when we get a driver's licence. It sometimes seems as if politicians sit and think of new laws they can make up, when we already have so many regulations out there. I don't understand how a state and community that tends to lean towards the idea of less government seems to enjoy coming up with new ways to regulate us. Our local politicians should spend more time thinking of ways to enforce the laws and regulations we already have in place.
Andy Gross May 28, 2012 at 01:17 PM
And I just noticed - the police chief proposed this law? How can people charged with enforcing the law be allowed to also propose laws? Is this common practice? I didn't think it was. As I mentioned, the police need to focus on the laws they already have in place. Simply test the driver if the officer thinks the driver is impaired.
Rich May 28, 2012 at 03:55 PM
As I read it this has to do with a passenger's consumption of alcoholic beverages in a vehicle.I agree that consumption of alcoholic beverage in a vehicle by anyone can present problems. But this should be left to the state. Too many municipalities with differing ordinances is confusing and hard for the average citizen to keep track of. It's ok in O'Fallon (I'm guessing) but as I drive through Wentzville, my passenger could be ticketed or maybe arrested? And if I make it through Wentzville unscathed and reach Foristell it's ok again? Cmon get real.
Jim Olley May 28, 2012 at 10:26 PM
How long does it take for driver to pass a beer, etc. to another passenger in the car? I hope Wentzville will take the lead and give the state some direction. Lets make the law officer's job easier (and safer) and not worry so much about who thought of it first!!!!
walter May 29, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Good points Andy and Rich, let's use the laws on the books we already have. Isn't the officer going to know or test a driver he suspects of drinking anyway? There is more to this proposal than what we see here.
Kevin Lane May 29, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Thank you Andy. 1) Test the driver. If he passes the .08 one-drink law, then you don't have a crime. 2) Keep the 3 branches of government seperate. That's why there are 3, not just one big branch that covers everything. This skips over & discards the 'checks & balances' responsibility that these branches ACTUALLY have. It tries to assume a whole other role. Everybody is seems to be smarter than the people who built the greatest country in the world. PS- I'm not saying this is, but it could also easily be blurred with a method for making more money (on average) from each traffic stop. (Aside from what can be given to the driver.) It wouldn't be the first time that a government official used the issue of your safety against you in an effort to increase revenue. Also, It's not really about how long it takes to pass a drink, it's about whether or not that person is driving drunk. That, regardless of the claim that was made, is very easily tested. Turns-out, it's also a method that every one of them swears by daily.

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