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Lawmaker looks to change Connecticut open container law

A bill that went before a public hearing during the last week of February could change Connecticut’s open container law if it is passed. The law, which currently allows passengers in a moving vehicle to have an open container of alcohol, puts the state in a minority with 10 other states that still allow what is known as “drunk riding.”

Representative Mitch Bolinsky, a Republican from Newtown wants to change all of that, however. He has brought forth the bill, which would make it illegal to have an open container in a car on state roads. He argues that every driver is not “pure of heart” and that having an open container in a vehicle makes it a lot more likely that a driver will end up drinking — even if that driver has taken on the role of designated driver.

Although the bill would curtail the public’s ability to have open containers in vehicles, Bolinsky has stated that if the bill became law it would not affect those who make a living driving people around, such as limo drivers, party buses and other types of commercial vehicles. Only private motor vehicles would be affected.

While the national organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving is in support of the bill, not everyone one agrees with the proposed change. Antonio Guerrera, the House Chair of the Transportation Committee stated at the hearing that he did not have an issue with passengers in a vehicle drinking as long as the driver doesn’t participate.

Individuals who are involved in automobile accidents or lose loved ones due to a drunk driver may have valuable legal rights and could be entitled to compensation for their injuries or loss of a loved one.

Source: WSHU, “Conn. Considering Ban On Drinking While Riding In A Car” Davis Dunavin, Mar. 04, 2015

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