How is this still a thing?

Motor Biscuit recently put together a list of states where a passenger riding in a personal vehicle can still have an open container of alcohol.

Which States Allow Passengers To Have Open Alcohol Containers?

Given what we know about alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities, its surprising this is still allowed today, let alone that it was ever a thing to begin with.

The following states still allow passengers to crack open a can of beer or bottle of liquor while riding shotgun:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

An open container includes everything from a bottle or can to a flask you filled before leaving the house.

Arkansas and West Virginia Won't Allow You To Drink

All of the states on the list allow the passenger to have an open container AND drink alcohol with the exception of Arkansas and West Virginia.

According to to Motor Biscuit, those two states let passengers carry the open container in the vehicle without drinking it.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Think of this as almost being like taking home leftovers from a restaurant.

"This law also allows you to save and transport a bottle of wine or liquor that you began to drink, but want to take home," the website states.

Other States Allow It, But There's More You Need To Know

Open container laws can be tricky in some of the other states on the list. There are certainly additional rules you need to know before drinking in the passenger seat.

Forbes says Alaska only allows open containers "behind a solid partition that separates the vehicle driver from the area normally occupied by passengers."

Virginia's law is even more complicated and actually puts the driver at risk.

According to Forbes, having an open containers in a car in Virginia "creates a rebuttal legal presumption that the driver has been drinking. In other words, if you're pulled over in Virginia with an open container in the car the officer can assume you, the driver, were drinking."

There's Still One State That Allows Drivers To Drink

We are down to one state in the U.S. that allows drivers to drink while operating a motor vehicle.


Mississippi is the only state that allows drivers to drink while driving as long as they stay under the legal limit.

"As long as the driver remains under the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol concentration, they are free to operate in Mississippi without penalty," Forbes reports.

Best Looking State Patrol Cars In (Almost) Every State

For the past 10 years, the American Association of State Troopers has held a contest to determine which state has the best looking patrol cruiser. Nearly every state police agency submits their best photo of their sharpest patrol vehicle a chance to win the coveted cover photo on the association's annual calendar. From cop cars rushing through blizzards to vehicles on the Grand Ole Opry stage, here are this year's nominees.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll


LOOK: Most dangerous states to drive in

Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher