Louisiana Governor Signs Open Container Bill

May 13, 2004

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco signed into law Senate Bill 341, a measure that prohibits passengers from having open containers of alcohol in vehicles. It takes effect August 15.

While Louisiana drivers have been barred from having an open alcoholic beverage in their possession, SB 341 closes the loophole allowing passengers to drink while in the car.

According to the Associated Press, the new law would allow a fine of $100 for a conviction. Many local governments in the state already have such a law in place and although the new law would supercede the local statutes, cities of over 50,000 would be able to collect a fine higher than SB 341’s $100.

Exceptions to the law include: passengers in licensed limousines; taxis or hotel courtesy vehicles; and passengers in parked cars, such as those attending tailgate parties where drinks are served.

The alcoholic beverage industry in Louisiana had lobbied against similar bills for years.

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