1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Carter, Johnson (19th), Jordan (24th), Nunnelee, Scoper, Burton
Senate Bill 2930
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT CONSUMPTION OR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, LIGHT WINE OR BEER IN MOTOR VEHICLES; TO ENACT DEFINITIONS; TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) (a) For the purposes of this section, "open container" means any container which is immediately capable of being consumed from or the seal of which has been broken, the contents of which are either an alcoholic beverage as defined in Section 67-1-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, or light wine or beer as defined in Section 67-3-1, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(b) For the purposes of this section, an open container shall be considered to be in the possession of the operator of a vehicle if the container is not located in a locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or other locked nonpassenger area of the vehicle.
(2) A person commits an offense under this section if:
(a) The person operates or travels in a motor vehicle in a public place and there is present in the motor vehicle, in the passenger portion of the vehicle, an open container.
(b) The person consumes an alcoholic beverage, light wine or beer while operating a motor vehicle in a public place and is observed doing so by a peace officer.
(3) This section does not apply if the open container is in the possession of:
(a) A passenger in the living quarters of a house trailer;
(b) A passenger, other than the owner, who has hired the vehicle and the vehicle is owned or operated by a person engaged in the business of transporting passengers for compensation.
(c) A doctor or patient carrying the open container for therapeutic purposes; acceptable medical proof may be required.
(d) A minister, priest, rabbi, accredited Christian Science practitioner or other similar functionary of a religious organization who is carrying the open container for religious purposes.
(4) Any person who violates this section is subject to a fine not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00)
(5) Any local ordinance which imposes more stringent restrictions on the possession of open containers in vehicles than those imposed by this section shall not be preempted by this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.