Can You Drink In The Car In Missouri?

Drinking alcoholic beverages in a car in Missouri is strictly regulated by the state’s open container laws. It is illegal for a driver to have an open container of alcohol within reach in the passenger area of a motor vehicle, regardless of whether they are actively drinking or not.

This law applies to both the driver and passengers in the car. Violating this law can result in fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. It is important to be aware of these regulations and prioritize the safety of yourself and others on the road.

can you drink in the car in missouri

Missouri Open Container Laws: What You Need to Know

When it comes to understanding the laws and regulations surrounding open container violations, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the specific laws in your state. In this section, we will discuss the open container laws in Missouri and provide you with the information you need to know to stay compliant.

Understanding Open Container Laws

Open container laws are put in place to regulate the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places. These laws are in effect to ensure public safety and prevent individuals from consuming alcohol while driving or in other public areas where it may be prohibited.

Missouri’s Open Container Laws

In the state of Missouri, the open container laws are defined under Section 577.600 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. According to these laws, it is illegal for any person to have an open container of an alcoholic beverage within the passenger area of a motor vehicle while it is in motion.

The term “open container” refers to any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains an alcoholic beverage, the seal of which has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed.

It is important to note that Missouri’s open container laws apply to both the driver and passengers within the vehicle. This means that both the driver and any passengers can be held accountable if an open container is found in the vehicle.

Exceptions to the Law

While Missouri has strict open container laws, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

The open container laws do not apply to passengers in the living quarters of a motorhome, the passenger area of a vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, or to the driver and passengers of a bus that regularly transports passengers for compensation.

Consequences of Violating the Open Container Laws

If you are found in violation of Missouri’s open container laws, you may face legal consequences. The penalties for an open container violation can include fines, community service, driver’s license suspension, and even possible jail time.

Additionally, an open container violation can have an impact on your driving record and insurance rates, as it may be seen as a red flag indicating a potential disregard for traffic laws and safety.

Understanding the Penalties for Drinking in a Car in Missouri

Drinking and driving is a serious offense that can have severe consequences. In Missouri, the penalties for drinking in a car are strict and can vary depending on the circumstances. It is important to understand these penalties to avoid any legal trouble and ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.

1. Open Container Laws

In Missouri, it is illegal to have an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. This means that any open container, regardless of whether the driver is actively consuming alcohol, can lead to penalties. The passenger area includes the driver’s seat, any seats next to the driver, and the back seats.

If you are caught with an open container of alcohol in the car, you can be charged with a Class D misdemeanor. This can result in fines up to $500 and potential jail time of up to 30 days. The penalties can increase if you have prior convictions or if the open container is found in a commercial vehicle.

2. Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense that can have severe consequences. In Missouri, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08% for individuals who are 21 years or older. For individuals under the age of 21, the legal limit is 0.02%.

If you are found to be driving with a BAC above the legal limit, you can be charged with a DUI. The penalties for a DUI can vary depending on factors such as the number of prior offenses and the severity of the offense. Penalties can include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even jail time.

3. Aggravated Offenses

There are certain circumstances that can lead to aggravated offenses and result in more severe penalties. These include:

  • Driving with a BAC of 0.15% or higher
  • Driving under the influence with a minor passenger
  • Causing injury or death while driving under the influence

If you are charged with an aggravated offense, the penalties can be significantly harsher. This can include increased fines, longer license suspensions, mandatory ignition interlock device installation, and potential imprisonment.

4. Implied Consent Law

In Missouri, there is an implied consent law, which means that by operating a motor vehicle, you are giving your consent to chemical tests to determine your BAC. Refusing to take a breathalyzer or blood test can result in immediate suspension of your driver’s license.

It is important to note that the penalties for drinking in a car in Missouri can have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional life. It is always best to avoid consuming alcohol if you plan on driving and to designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation options.

Can You Drink In The Car In Missouri

Can Passengers Drink Alcohol in a Car in Missouri?

Missouri is known for its beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, it is important to be aware of the state’s laws and regulations, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption. One common question that arises is whether passengers are allowed to drink alcohol in a car in Missouri.

To answer this question, it is essential to understand the legal framework surrounding alcohol consumption in vehicles in Missouri. The state has strict laws in place to ensure public safety and prevent drunk driving incidents.

Missouri follows the Open Container Law, which prohibits the driver of a motor vehicle from consuming alcohol or having an open container of alcohol in their immediate possession while operating the vehicle.

However, the Open Container Law does not specifically address the consumption of alcohol by passengers in a car. In Missouri, it is generally legal for passengers to drink alcohol in a car, as long as the driver is not consuming alcohol or in possession of an open container.

This means that passengers who are of legal drinking age can enjoy a drink while riding in a vehicle, as long as they are not operating the vehicle.

It is important to note that although passengers may legally consume alcohol in a car, it is always advisable to exercise caution and drink responsibly. Intoxication can impair judgment and coordination, which can increase the risk of accidents.

Additionally, local ordinances or specific situations may impose additional restrictions, so it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the laws of the city or area you are in.

While passengers are generally allowed to consume alcohol in a car in Missouri, it is crucial to prioritize safety and follow the law. It is advisable to designate a sober driver or make use of alternative transportation options if you plan on consuming alcohol. By doing so, you can ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.

Safe Alternatives: Non-alcoholic Beverages for Car Travel in Missouri

When embarking on a car journey in Missouri, it’s important to ensure that you have refreshing and non-alcoholic beverages to keep you hydrated and alert throughout your trip. While alcoholic beverages are not suitable for consumption while driving, there are plenty of safe alternatives that can quench your thirst and provide a refreshing experience.

Here are some popular and safe non-alcoholic beverage options for car travel in Missouri:

1. Bottled Water

Water is a basic necessity and the best way to stay hydrated during your car journey. Make sure to pack enough bottled water for everyone in the vehicle. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially during hot summer months in Missouri.

2. Fruit Juices

Enjoy the natural sweetness and flavors of fruit juices while on the road. Pack small juice boxes or bottles of your favorite fruit juices to keep yourself refreshed throughout the journey. Opt for 100% fruit juices without any added sugars for a healthier option.

3. Iced Tea

Iced tea is a popular and refreshing choice for car travel. Prepare your own iced tea at home and bring it in a thermos or cooler along with ice cubes. You can choose from a variety of flavors such as lemon, peach, or raspberry to suit your taste preferences.

4. Sports Drinks

If you’re planning a long drive or engaging in physical activities during your trip, sports drinks can be a good option. These drinks contain electrolytes that help replenish the body’s lost fluids. However, be mindful of the sugar content and choose low-sugar or sugar-free options.

5. Flavored Water

If plain water is not appealing to you, try flavored water as an alternative. There are numerous brands available in the market that offer a wide range of fruit-infused water flavors. Look for options that are low in sugar or sugar-free for a healthier choice.

6. Coffee or Tea

For those who enjoy a warm beverage while driving, opt for coffee or tea. However, it’s important to consume these beverages in moderation due to their caffeine content. Consider using a spill-proof travel mug to prevent any accidents while on the road.

7. Smoothies or Milkshakes

If you have access to a cooler or a refrigerated container, you can prepare delicious and nutritious smoothies or milkshakes to enjoy during your car journey. Pack them in insulated bottles to keep them chilled and refreshing for longer periods.

Remember, the key is to stay hydrated and refreshed while driving in Missouri. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages, as they can impair your judgment and reaction time. Plan ahead and pack a variety of non-alcoholic beverages that will not only quench your thirst but also enhance your overall driving experience.

Can You Drink In The Car In Missouri 2

Seeking Legal Advice: Consultations for Drinking in a Car Cases in Missouri

If you find yourself facing legal trouble due to a drinking in a car case in Missouri, it is crucial to seek professional legal advice and representation. Drinking in a car cases can have serious consequences, and having an experienced attorney by your side can greatly impact the outcome of your case.

The Importance of Legal Consultations

When dealing with legal matters, it is essential to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in drinking in a car cases in Missouri. Legal consultations offer a chance for you to discuss the specifics of your situation and receive professional advice on how to proceed.

These consultations allow you to understand your rights, potential consequences, and available legal options.

During a legal consultation, your attorney will listen to your side of the story and gather all relevant information pertaining to your case. They will analyze the evidence, assess the strength of the prosecution’s case against you, and provide guidance on the best course of action to take.

Finding the Right Attorney

When searching for a lawyer to handle your drinking in a car case in Missouri, it is important to find someone who possesses the necessary expertise and experience in this area of law. Look for attorneys who specialize in criminal defense and have a track record of successfully handling similar cases.

Consider seeking recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who may have faced similar legal troubles in the past. Additionally, online directories and legal organizations can provide valuable resources to help you find reputable lawyers in your area.

Preparing for the Consultation

Prior to meeting with an attorney for a consultation, it is helpful to gather all relevant documents and information pertaining to your drinking in a car case. This may include police reports, witness statements, breathalyzer test results, and any other evidence related to your case.

Prepare a list of questions and concerns you would like to discuss with the attorney during the consultation. This will ensure that you cover all the necessary topics and make the most out of your meeting. Some questions you may want to ask include:

  • What are the potential consequences I could face if convicted?
  • What defense strategies are available in my case?
  • What is your experience with similar cases?
  • What are your fees and payment options?
  • How often will we communicate and receive updates on my case?

The Consultation Process

During the consultation, be open and honest about the details of your drinking in a car case. Your attorney’s role is to provide you with the best legal advice possible, and this can only be achieved if they have a comprehensive understanding of your situation.

Take this opportunity to ask any questions you may have and seek clarification on any legal terms or procedures that you don’t understand. A good attorney will patiently explain everything to you, ensuring that you are well-informed and comfortable with the legal process ahead.


Can you drink in the car in Missouri?

No, it is illegal to consume alcohol in a moving vehicle in Missouri. The open container law prohibits drivers and passengers from having an open alcohol container in their possession while the vehicle is in motion.

What is the legal drinking age in Missouri?

The legal drinking age in Missouri is 21. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages.

Can I have an open container in a parked car in Missouri?

Yes, it is legal to have an open container of alcohol in a parked car in Missouri. However, it is important to note that the open container must be stored in a location not accessible to the driver or any passengers in the driver’s area of the vehicle, such as the trunk or a locked glove compartment.


In conclusion, it is illegal to consume alcohol while operating or riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle in Missouri. The state’s open container law prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol in a moving vehicle. This regulation aims to promote safety on the roads and reduce the risks associated with impaired driving.

Violating this law can result in severe penalties, including fines and possible suspension of driving privileges. It is important to prioritize responsible and sober driving to ensure the well-being of yourself and others on the road.

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