Question: Can you explain what is considered an open bottle violation here in Minnesota?

Answer: Minnesota law says that it is a crime for a person to drink or consume an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle when the vehicle is upon a street or highway.

It is also a crime for a person to have in possession, while in a private motor vehicle upon a street or highway, any bottle or receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or the seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

Possession means either that the person had actual possession of the bottle or receptacle or that the person consciously exercised dominion and control over the bottle or receptacle.

Roadway means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel including the shoulder.

Minnesota’s enhanced DWI enforcement and education efforts have been factors in the continued reduction of alcohol-related deaths. Still, drunk driving remains a serious threat on our roads, contributing to 84 deaths in 2018.

Commit to a sober ride.

  • Plan for a safe ride. Designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of the celebration.

  • Speak up. Offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.

  • Buckle up. This is the best defense against a drunk driver.

  • Report drunk driving. Call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.

If you have any questions about traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave, Duluth, MN 55811 or email