I just bought some beer, does it have to go in my trunk? Trooper Steve has the answer

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

Trooper Steve address open container laws in Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

On Thursday, Trooper Steve was asked, “I was told if I buy beer I have to keep it in the trunk of my car to transport it. Is this true?”

[ASK TROOPER STEVE: Send safety question to Trooper Steve]

As long as it’s sealed, Trooper Steve said, you should be able to transport it without a problem.

“You would not get in trouble for purchasing any alcohol from the store and leaving it in its original form while taking it to your destination,” Trooper Steve said. “You are allowed to take bottles of wine that have been opened from a restaurant as long as the restaurant properly sealed that bottle of wine for you. This can be done by recorking and placing that wine in a bag that has been resealed.”

He said the same rules, however, don’t apply to open alcohol containers, including canned alcohol beverages or bottles of wine with broken seals, according to Florida Statute 316.1936.

“Florida law says that it is against the law to possess an open container of alcohol or drink that alcohol while either the driver or while the passenger in any motor vehicle,” Trooper Steve said. “People must be careful because this would even apply while sitting in a parked vehicle in a parking lot that has public access.”

He said these laws also apply when using any ridesharing service, such as Uber or Lyft, because the vehicles used are privately owned.

“Now there are a few exceptions to this rule, and it would be if you’re a passenger in a commercial motor vehicle. Things that would be considered a commercial motor vehicle would be a bus or a taxicab or even if you’re in a self-contained motorhome, but it needs to be an extra 21 feet in length,” Trooper Steve said.

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.