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is it leagal in wyoming to have a open contaner in a car as long as the driver isn't drinking??

i say no but alot of people have said yes....can you guys give me an answer and somthing to back it up??

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    The following answer is from an undated (or at least I couldn't find one) article posted at

    and was the first article to pop up with a search of keywords "open container law wyoming". Hope this helps you a little. Good Luck.

    Open-container bill falls short again

    Proposal voted on twice, each time getting 1 vote too few

    By The Associated Press

    CHEYENNE -- Wyoming's attempt to ban open containers of alcohol in moving vehicles died again. And again.

    The House voted twice Wednesday to kill a bill that would ban open containers of alcohol in vehicles. A morning vote came out 30-28 in favor of the bill -- one vote short of the majority needed to pass legislation in the 60-member House.

    Supporters rallied to pass a motion to reconsider the bill after Rep. Tom Lockhart, R-Casper, who missed the morning session, indicated he wanted to vote for the measure. Rep. Colin Simpson, R-Cody, made the motion to reconsider, which passed 32-27.

    But a second vote on the bill itself went 30-29 after Rep. Erin Mercer, R-Gillette -- who had voted for the bill in the morning -- voted against it in the afternoon, again leaving it one vote short. Wyoming law currently bars drivers -- but not passengers -- from having open containers.

    Mercer said she thought having open containers in motor vehicles was a bad idea, but that the bill's language was overly broad. She worried that a passenger who concealed an open container might get the driver in trouble.

    "So you'd have two people in trouble, when only one was at fault," Mercer said.

    Mercer is in her first year at the Legislature after she winning a special election to replace Frank Latta, who resigned after moving out of his district last October. She said she felt she had cast the wrong vote during the morning session.

    "I have been bouncing around with this thing since I voted this morning, and I'm still bouncing around with it now," Mercer said.

    Mercer wasn't the only supporter who defected Wednesday. Reps. Edward Buchanan, R-Torrington, and Mary Meyer Gilmore, D-Casper, had voted for the bill previously, but voted against the bill both times Wednesday.

    "This is an issue that's not as easy as it looks on the face. If it was a black-and-white issue it wouldn't have been defeated," Buchanan said, wondering out loud if the bill would put Wyoming on a slippery slope toward one day prohibiting all drivers from having any alcohol in their systems. He said that might save lives, but thought it would be unreasonable.

    Gilmore said she originally supported the bill because it would give the state more flexibility in using highway funds, but changed her mind.

    "I just felt it was invasive and we're seeing more and more of these invasive bills," Gilmore said.

    Sen. Tony Ross, R-Cheyenne, had carried the bill in the Senate again this session. The House last year shot down his because it would have allowed open containers in recreational vehicles. This year's bill included RVs, but required that open containers be stowed in a cupboard or other compartment not accessible to the driver.

    Ross on said he was stunned Wednesday to hear that the legislation had again failed in the House.

    "I'm not quitting," Ross said after the House vote. "It's the right thing to do."

    State law enforcement officials also have backed the bill, saying it's too easy under the current law for a driver to simply hand an open container to a passenger and avoid a citation. In a poll conducted this winter for the Star-Tribune of Casper, 79 percent of respondents said they would back a law barring passengers from having open containers.

    "I will tell you, I was fairly stunned," Gov. Dave Freudenthal said after learning of the morning vote. "I had the sense that it enjoyed some pretty good support in the House. I believed that after this many years, and this much public support, that it would pass, and it should pass."

    Rep. James C. Hageman, R-Ft. Laramie, led opposition to the bill, saying Wyoming already has tough laws against drunken driving and can enforce those laws against anyone who violates them.

    "What we're doing now is saying, 'You're not smart enough to do these things, you're going to have to have a policeman in your face telling them what to do,' " Hageman said. He said he is not a drinker.

    Marian Schulz, a lobbyist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said she was disappointed by the votes, saying her organization would have to start over next year with a new Legislature.

    "It's going to take educating a whole new group of legislators, and basically we're starting from zero," Schulz said.

    Repeated attempts -- and failures -- to ban open containers have exemplified Wyoming's resistance to regulating personal behavior.

    Rep. Jack Landon, R-Sheridan, said he recalled having a beer in the pickup truck on the way home from the drilling fields as a young man. And he said that these days, some of his friends enjoy having a beer in the car returning from ski trips when they're not driving.

    "And I think that's responsible drinking," said Landon, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

    Rep. Becket Hinckley, R-Cheyenne, was among those who urged the House to approve the legislation, saying it's time Wyoming sends a message that "we don't want any kind of drinking in an automobile."

    "The fact of the matter is that alcohol and automobiles are a deadly mix," said Hinckley, a prosecutor with the district attorney's office in Cheyenne.

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  • Zelda
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I say it's worth fighting if you do get a ticket. Your law states:

    31-5-235. Consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages in opened containers by operator of vehicle prohibited; definitions; penalty.

    (b) No person shall consume or possess any alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle on a public street or public highway unless the beverage is in the original unopened package or container, the seal of which has not been broken and from which the original cap, cork or other means of closure has not been removed. Notwithstanding this section, a resealed bottle of wine may be transported as provided in W.S. 12-4-410(e).

    The operative words here are "No person...WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE...". The passenger wouldn't fall into that category.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hey if a guy is drinking and his girl friend is the designated driver what the heck is the problem.These politicians are all the time trying to control people.Who the heck are they to preach morals to us,does foley sound familiar.Screw em those dang politicians.

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  • 1 decade ago


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