What you need to know about North Dakota’s open container law

Summers in North Dakota are nearly perfect. After all, you have a seemingly endless number of possibilities for exploring everything the state has to offer. If you like to drink alcohol, you may want to have a cold beer or cocktail after a long hike or at a backyard barbeque. You should not, however, carry an open container into a motor vehicle. 

Like most states, North Dakota has an open container law that prevents drivers and passengers from having an open container of alcohol inside a vehicle. If you violate the law, you face both a fine and a blemish on your driving record. You may also encourage officers to search you or your vehicle looking for further evidence of criminal activity, such as driving under the influence. If you want to stay out of trouble, you should know a few things about North Dakota’s open container law. 

The law does not apply to all vehicles 

In North Dakota, you may not have an open container in most passenger vehicles, such as cars, trucks and SUVs. The law does not, however, apply to all types of vehicles. Consuming alcohol from an open container in certain limousines, buses and taxis may not land you in hot water. Before you do, though, check to see if the vehicle has an exemption from the state’s open container law. 

The law does not apply to all parts of passenger vehicles 

To violate the Peace Garden State’s open container law, you must have an open container in a section of the vehicle where passengers normally ride. If you have an open bottle in the trunk or behind the back seat, you probably do not have to worry about receiving a citation. 

The law does not apply to campers 

If you own a camper or motorhome, you have less of a risk of violating North Dakota’s open container law. That is, you may have an open container in the living section of your camper. You may not, though, move the open container into the driver or passenger areas of the vehicle. 

Like most North Dakotans, you want to maintain a clean driving record. By understanding the state’s open container law, you can enjoy your summer while both staying safe and out of trouble.

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