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‘Open container’ law proposed in Connecticut

Connecticut lawmakers have proposed a new bill that would change the state’s “open container” laws.

Currently, under Connecticut law, it is legal for passengers in vehicles to have and drink from an open container of alcohol in a moving vehicle. The state is one of only 11 without an open container law.

However, Proposed House Bill 6588 would change that, if it is passed.

The bill would ban all passengers in a vehicle from possessing or consuming any alcoholic beverage. The ban would not apply to passengers of commercial vehicles such as party buses, taxis and limousines.

The bill’s sponsor said its purpose is to “further reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes, fatalities and damages resulting from drivers operating under the influence of alcohol.”

A supporter of the bill, who lost a son in a drunk driving accident in 2004, cited a study suggesting that states with laws banning open containers in vehicles have 5.1 percent fewer fatal car wrecks.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving also supports the bill.

At least one state lawmaker has questioned the bill, saying that he isn’t against it but that “there are issues with it.”

It is easy to understand who anyone who has lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident would want to see this bill made into law.

Our legal team has represented numerous victims of drunk driving accidents and their families, so we have seen first-hand how life-shattering these accidents truly are.

State law comes down hard on drunk drivers who cause accidents, but the law should also make alcohol less accessible to drivers with an open container ban.

Source: Fox CT, "Bill takes aim at Connecticut open container policy," Spencer Allan Brooks, March 2, 2015

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