With Memorial Day weekend upon us, and even though we’re not fully open, people are going to be hitting the roadways to find some solace in the great Michigan outdoors, which was a perfect time for Grand Rapids Police to put out a Facebook post reminding everyone what the open container laws are for Michigan.

More specifically, what the rules are for passengers in the car.  We already know, or should know, that a roadie, or whatever you call the drink you have while going down the road, should not be enjoyed, EVER, by the driver - although the post does remind you of that.  But so often, on the way to the lake or up north, the passengers will start the party early, and as the GRPD reminder states, that’s not legally allowed.

Any other passenger shall not possess open alcohol. Open alcohol is defined as any container that is open, uncapped or where the seal is broken. This is within the passenger compartment of a vehicle, while moving on any roadway or areas generally accessible to vehicles (i.e. parking lots)

Yeah, so having an open bottle or can - even if it has a lid - within reach of the driver or passengers could lead to you getting charged.

The post says that the driver if caught with alcohol in their possession could be charged with “Operating While Intoxicated and Open Alcohol in a MV” but even if it’s just in the car, where people can open and drink the alcohol, the driver could still be charged with “Transporting Open Alcohol in a MV,” if they have passengers.

I didn't realize that, good to know.

So maybe don’t ruin the weekend before you even get to the fun, and wait to enjoy the first drink.  It’s always better when you’re enjoying it after you arrive after a long drive and get set up anyway.


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