If you’re looking to have some fun in your RV, but you want to make sure what you are doing is safe and legal, you may wonder whether or not you can drink while the vehicle is moving.
The legality of drinking in a moving RV is somewhat complicated, however there is an answer.
Can you drink in a moving RV? Yes, you can drink in a moving RV if you’re not the driver and your local open container laws permit it. Open container laws vary by state and county and dictate whether a passenger over the age of 21 can even have an open bottle of booze while a vehicle is running.
Before you start your road trip, be sure to double check state and local laws.
If you’re ready to get out on the highway with some friends and family, but you want to make sure what you’re doing is safe and legal, this is the article for you.
Below we’ll fill you in on the legality of drinking in a moving RV, whether it is safe to do in the first place and if it is okay to drink in an RV that is running but parked.
Table of Contents
Is It Even Legal to Drink in a Moving RV?
The legality of drinking in a moving RV is somewhat complicated.It is not always illegal for the passengers to drink. It all really just depends on state and local open container laws.
If you’re traveling long distances, you’ll want to check the laws for every single place you will pass through.
Open container laws apply to all vehicles including RVs.
In most areas of the US it is not legal to have an open bottle of alcohol in a moving vehicle, even if you are not the one driving.
However, there are some states and counties where it actually is legal to drink as the passenger.
Also keep in mind that in some places it is recommended that you wait until you get to a campsite before you even stock up with any alcohol.
States Without Open Container Laws
There are actually eleven states that do not have any statewide open container laws.
If you’re a passenger travelling down the interstate in any of the following states below, it is in fact legal for you to have an open bottle of alcohol.
- We should note that in Mississippi it actually is legal for the driver to have a drink while driving as long as they stay under the legal limit, though we do not suggest you try it. It is too easy to drink over the limit without realizing it.
- West Virginia
It is vitally important to understand that while these places do not have statewide open container laws, counties within them can still have their own.
This is why you should always check your local laws along with that of the state itself before packing any booze for your road trip.
Also, bear in mind that laws change overtime and you’ll want to make sure that the laws you are looking at are up to date.
Is it Safe to Drink in a Moving RV?
Let’s say you’ve checked and in your area it is legal for the passengers of an RV to drink.
You may still be wondering if it is safe to do anyway.
Again, the answer is complicated in that the safety heavily depends on how much you’re planning to drink, what you do after you drink and whether or not everyone involved knows what’s going on.
Below is a list of tips that will help you remain safe if you want to enjoy some alcohol as the passenger of an RV in an area where it is legal.
Please note that this advice applies to passengers only. The driver should never drink while they are driving.
1. Do not over drink
Alcohol lowers your inhibitions. The more intoxicated you are, the more likely you are to engage in behavior that is not safe.
If you over drink, you may become a distraction to the driver or a safety hazard to yourself and the others you’re traveling with.
If you do decide to drink as the passenger of an RV, be sure to know your limits and don’t over do it.
2. Sit as you normally would
This goes hand in hand with the above tip. When we drink we sometimes have the urge to act a little sillier than we normally would.
Make sure you always stay buckled in your seat while the vehicle is in motion.
3. Do not offer to take over for the driver
Oftentimes when a group of friends or family go on a long trip in an RV, they rotate who the driver is to give everyone a break.
If you’re planning something similar, no one who is in the rotation to drive should be having a drink.
Instead designate drivers just as you would if you were visiting your local bar.
4. Make sure the driver is okay with you drinking
Don’t just sneak some booze on board the RV and try to drink it without your driver knowing.
This can lead to all kinds of problems from you drinking too fast, to them pressuring you to take over the duties as the driver when they need a break.
If you’re trying to hide the fact that you want to drink, you should probably question whether you should.
5. Never drink and drive
Though we mentioned this above, it goes with repeating. Drinking and driving is not only illegal, it is extremely dangerous.
When you drink and drive you not only put yourself at risk, but all of your passengers and everyone else you encounter on the road as well.
Please if you want to drink, do it in an appropriate place at an appropriate time.
Can You Drink While the RV is Parked?
Perhaps you’ve stopped at a campsite and want to know if it is legal to drink while the RV is parked, but still on for AC.
In most states where there are open container laws, you are not permitted to begin drinking until you’ve reached your campsite.
Any time you visit an RV friendly campsite you’ll want to make sure that they don’t have any rules against drinking.
In most campsites they don’t mind if you have a reasonable amount of alcohol, but may contact authorities if you over drink and begin causing trouble.
Remember to always drink responsibly and you’ll probably be okay.
If your state and local laws permit it, you’re welcome to drink as the passenger of an RV. Still, in most areas it is not legal.
Make sure you don’t just assume it’s fine without actually checking first.
Also, if you’re travelling across country, keep in mind that the area you start in may allow for passengers to drink but you’re likely to cross into other areas that do not.
Always remember that just because something is legal does not mean it is safe. If you are of age and decide you would like to drink while someone else drives, follow the proper precautions.
Don’t over drink, sit how you normally would while the vehicle is in motion and do not offer to take over for the driver until you’re sure the alcohol has worn off.
Buckle up, stay safe and enjoy your trip!
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