2017 Montana Legislature
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HOUSE BILL NO. 206
INTRODUCED BY D. ZOLNIKOV
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REVISING LAWS REGARDING OPEN CONTAINER LAWS; PROVIDING THAT A PASSENGER MAY HAVE AN OPEN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTAINER; AMENDING SECTIONS 61-8-460 AND 61-8-461, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 61-8-460, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-8-460. Unlawful possession of open alcoholic beverage container in motor vehicle on highway. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person commits the offense of unlawful possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle if the person knowingly possesses an open alcoholic beverage container within the passenger area of a motor vehicle on a highway.
(2) This section does not apply to an open alcoholic beverage container:
(a) in a locked glove compartment or storage compartment;
(b) in a motor vehicle trunk or luggage compartment or in a truck bed or cargo compartment;
(c) behind the last upright seat of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk;
(d) in a closed container in the area of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk and that is not normally occupied by the driver or a passenger; or
(e) in the immediate possession of a passenger:
(i) of a motor vehicle, including a bus, taxi, or limousine, that is used for the transportation of persons for compensation and that includes the provision of a hired driver; or
(ii) in the living quarters of a camper, travel trailer, or motor home.
(3) (a) A person convicted of the offense of unlawful possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle shall be fined an amount not to exceed $100.
(b) A violation of this section is not a criminal offense within the meaning of 3-1-317, 3-1-318, 45-2-101, 46-18-236, 61-8-104, and 61-8-711 and may not be recorded or charged against a driver's record, and an insurance company may not hold a violation of this section against the insured or increase premiums because of the violation. The surcharges provided for in 3-1-317, 3-1-318, and 46-18-236 may not be imposed for a violation of this section."
Section 2. Section 61-8-461, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-8-461. Definitions. As used in 61-8-460, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Alcoholic beverage" means a compound produced for human consumption as a drink that contains 0.5% or more of alcohol by volume.
(2) "Bus" means a motor vehicle with a manufacturer's rated seating capacity of 11 or more passengers, including the driver.
(3) "Camper" has the meaning provided in 61-1-101.
(4)(2) "Highway" has the meaning provided in 61-1-101, including the shoulders of the highway.
(5) "Motor home" has the meaning provided in 61-1-101.
(6)(3) "Motor vehicle" has the meaning provided in 61-1-101.
(7)(4) "Open alcoholic beverage container" means a bottle, can, jar, or other receptacle that contains any amount of an alcoholic beverage and that is open or has a broken seal or the contents of which are partially removed.
(8)(5) "Passenger area" means the area designed to seat the driver and passengers while a motor vehicle is in operation and any area that is readily accessible to the driver or a passenger while the driver or a passenger is seated in the vehicle, including an unlocked glove compartment."
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Applicability. [This act] applies to violations committed on or after [the effective date of this act].
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