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46.61.517  <<  46.61.519 >>   46.61.5191

RCW 46.61.519

Alcoholic beverages — Drinking or open container in vehicle on highway — Exceptions.

(1) It is a traffic infraction to drink any alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle when the vehicle is upon a highway.

     (2) It is a traffic infraction for a person to have in his or her possession while in a motor vehicle upon a highway, a bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage if the container has been opened or a seal broken or the contents partially removed.

     (3) It is a traffic infraction for the registered owner of a motor vehicle, or the driver if the registered owner is not then present in the vehicle, to keep in a motor vehicle when the vehicle is upon a highway, a bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage which has been opened or a seal broken or the contents partially removed, unless the container is kept in the trunk of the vehicle or in some other area of the vehicle not normally occupied by the driver or passengers if the vehicle does not have a trunk. A utility compartment or glove compartment is deemed to be within the area occupied by the driver and passengers.

     (4) This section does not apply to a public conveyance that has been commercially chartered for group use or to the living quarters of a motor home or camper or, except as otherwise provided by RCW 66.44.250 or local law, to any passenger for compensation in a for-hire vehicle licensed under city, county, or state law, or to a privately owned vehicle operated by a person possessing a valid operator's license endorsed for the appropriate classification under chapter 46.25 RCW in the course of his or her usual employment transporting passengers at the employer's direction: PROVIDED, That nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage by the operator of any vehicle while upon a highway.

[2010 c 8 § 9071; 1989 c 178 § 26; 1984 c 274 § 1; 1983 c 165 § 28.]

Notes:

     Severability -- Effective dates -- 1989 c 178: See RCW 46.25.900 and 46.25.901.

     Legislative finding, intent -- Effective dates -- Severability -- 1983 c 165: See notes following RCW 46.20.308.

Ignition interlocks, biological, technical devices: RCW 46.20.710 through 46.20.750.