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why is it illegal in most states to drink alcohol while driving? I understand why it's illegal to drive while intoxicated. That's not what I'm asking here. It's not illegal to drink sodas or bottled water while driving. So clearly it's not because someone thinks you will get distracted from your driving while opening a can or bottle and drinking it. If that were the case, drinking of all substances would be illegal. Its not illegal to go to a bar and drink and then drive. Nor is it illegal to drink at home or at a friend's home and drive. So why does the place in which you ingest the alcohol matter?

Just wondering.

Wander

Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
beautyofgrey
Feb. 13th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
Its not illegal to go to a bar and drink and then drive.

Actually, they are in the process of debating a bill here that would hold certain drinking establishments responsible if a patron is allowed to drive away drunk. Which is crazy, in my opinion.
wander
Feb. 13th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
That's already the law in many states. But I'm not really talking about drunk driving. It's not illegal to go to the bar in the first place and drink and then drive. It only becomes illegal if you are legally intoxicated. So if you can drink one or two beers in the bar and be OK to drive, why can't you drink one or two beers while you are driving down the road?

W
(no subject) - beautyofgrey - Feb. 13th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wander - Feb. 13th, 2007 06:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ryl - Feb. 13th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wander - Feb. 13th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
brotherskeeper1
Feb. 13th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC)
Think again. My best local friend and I were talking that in IL they have passed a law that you cannot be talking on a cell phone, eating, drinking, coffee, soda, water, or anything else, not can you be petting an animal in the front seat or reaching over to a child. All of these are just cause for us to be stopped and ticketed. I just learned about this two days ago.

We are to have absolutely NO distractions while we drive. So does this mean that I must pull off the road if I need to blow my nose? Seriously, I'm not being funny.

I always have a bottle of water with me. I'm diabetic and drink alot. I'm not going to pull off every few miles to take a couple of sips.

I'm not sure if it applies in IL or not, but it may be MO that a new law has been passed that you cannot smoke if you have a child in the car under 18.
wander
Feb. 13th, 2007 06:09 am (UTC)
So if we can't eat, are they soon going to outlaw drive-throughs on fast food restaurants? Because, clearly, most people who go through a drive through, don't intend to take the food all the way home before they eat it.

No law like that in Illinois so far as I know.

W
(no subject) - brotherskeeper1 - Feb. 13th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ryl - Feb. 13th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wander - Feb. 13th, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brotherskeeper1 - Feb. 14th, 2007 12:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wander - Feb. 14th, 2007 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brotherskeeper1 - Feb. 15th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC) - Expand
nessachan
Feb. 13th, 2007 07:49 am (UTC)
Around here, it's illegal to have open alcohol containers outside of your house / a bar / the vicinity around your house (yard/porch, etc) / or possibly parks / picnic areas, I'm not sure if they're included.

So, having alcohol in your car with the lid off is illegal, as is having alcohol with the lid off on the sidewalk, or in a school, or whatever. Especially in a student town, it leads to a lot of tickets and arrests, because drunken kids are walking around with open beers and stuff which isn't allowed. Also, no cups of alcohol in places that aren't a house or a bar.

I just always assumed it was the same all over.
nessachan
Feb. 13th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC)
Oh, I should add that alcohol in your car with the lid off is still illegal, even if it is a passenger who is drinking it.

One time in Pittsburgh, I was stuck in traffic next to a guy who had a whole bottle of vodka in his cup holder and was having a VERY fun time drinking it and laughing about being stuck in traffic.
(no subject) - wander - Feb. 13th, 2007 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
gnominclature
Feb. 13th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC)
I can't wait until we can't drive because it'll be considered a distraction from driving!
wander
Feb. 13th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
I fully support the cell phone in cars ban. I can't tell you the amount of accidents and near accidents I've seen where the driver has one hand on the wheel and one hand on the cell phone. You think it would be obvious to the drivers but...

W
(no subject) - nessachan - Feb. 13th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wander - Feb. 13th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
redsgoddes
Feb. 13th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
Here we have the open container law. You can't have it opened outside anywhere. Also can't talk on the cell when you are driving. They're trying now to get eating behind and drinking soft drinks or water behind the wheel and smoking banned. I don't smoke so I don't care about that one..but the water..well sometimes I need to drink it.
wander
Feb. 13th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
How the heck do you take a long trip and not drink something every once in a while. It's highly inconvenient to pull over and buy something whenever you get thirsty. Add to that the fact that many if not most people drive with one hand at some point in their trip. I don't see why I can't reach down with the free hand and pick up a chip or a bottle of water and take a sip.

W
(no subject) - nessachan - Feb. 14th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kittles - Feb. 14th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wander - Feb. 14th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
virga_flame
Feb. 13th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
re driving with a cell phone: Every law enforcement agency that I or newspaper reporters whose articles I've read have approached about the issue either do not keep statistics about accidents and traffic violations involving cellphones, or the statistics they do have indicate that driving with a cellphone is a negligible risk.
wander
Feb. 14th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
The only thing I know is the accidents and near accidents I have observed and the cops that I have talked to who have interviewed drivers immediately after an accident. Many of the drivers will say "Well I was talking on my cell phone and stopped paying attention to my driving." I don't think its so much what they are doing with their hands as to the fact that they get so involved with the conversation that they lose focus on their driving.

W
(no subject) - virga_flame - Feb. 14th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
chimerae
Feb. 13th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
Lots of laws happen because some specific thing is easy to legislate against.
wander
Feb. 14th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
And lots of laws get enacted as riders on other bills as well. I wonder if this is one of those things that just sort of slipped in under the radar without much fanfare.

W
kittles
Feb. 14th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC)
I think primarily it's a checkbox from the MADD DUI-war agenda. I believe it's easy to convince legislators and constituents that there's no good reason for folks to be drinking alcohol in a car - after all, they could go from a legal .079 to an illegal .08 in the blink of an eye!

From a law enforcement perspective, having the law just adds more to the list of "probable cause" offenses that you can pull someone over for, at which point you can talk to them and perhaps pick up hints of whether or not they are too impaired to drive. And then it gives you another ticket to add to the stack they'll get if they are in fact DUI - and theoretically therefore helps seal the case should they take it to court.

Not having the law makes standardized field sobriety tests a tad harder, because "mouth alcohol" can skew the results of field breath alcohol test machines. However, there's already safeguards to that, in that you're required to have a person observe a fifteen minute "deprivation period" where they can't have anything in their mouth before you test them, which then negates any mouth alcohol interference.

From a personal perspective, I've never much thought about it and don't have too much of an opinion one way or another.
wander
Feb. 14th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
All good points. I've always just figured the legal limit was the important thing not the setting in which the alcohol was consumed. But then, I hardly ever drink to excess so it's not much of a personal issue for me. It's just one of those things I wonder about.

W
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )