Is it legal to drink alcohol when riding in an RV?Question: Is it legal for a person to drink alcohol when riding in an RV? I know someone who uses his RV to haul people around for weddings and celebrations and those people are drinking in the vehicle.
By: Trooper Andy Schmidt of the Minnesota State Patrol, Alexandria Echo Press
Editor's note: The following is an "Ask a Trooper" column written by Andy Schmidt of the Minnesota State Patrol.
Question: Is it legal for a person to drink alcohol when riding in an RV? I know someone who uses his RV to haul people around for weddings and celebrations and those people are drinking in the vehicle.
Answer: This is covered by MN statute 169A.35 and we shall explore those parts that apply to your question. First subdivision 2 states, “It is a crime for a person to drink or consume an alcoholic beverage, distilled spirit, or 3.2 percent malt liquor in a motor vehicle when the vehicle is upon a street or highway.”
Subdivision 1 clause (3) defines a motor vehicle and states; "motor vehicle" does not include motorboats in operation, or off-road recreational vehicles except when being operated on a roadway or shoulder of a roadway that is not part of a grant-in-aid trail or trail designated for that vehicle by the commissioner of natural resources.
Now as with so many laws in MN we come to the exceptions and they are covered in subdivision six. According to clause (a) “This section does not prohibit the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by passengers in (1) a bus that is operated by a motor carrier of passengers, as defined in section 221.012, subdivision 26; (3) a vehicle providing limousine service as defined in section 221.84, subdivision 1.”
Now subdivision 3 states “It is 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, distilled spirit, or 3.2 percent malt liquor that has been opened, or the seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.” Short version: Since an RV is motor vehicle passengers in it cannot legally drink or possess an alcoholic beverage when riding down the road.
If your acquaintance is trying to claim he/she is operating a limo service with their RV that brings up a bunch of other legal issues.
When on a multi-lane road and approaching an emergency vehicle, with lights flashing, stopped on the side drivers are required to move if possible. State Troopers are out there to help and protect you.
Please help keep us safer by giving us that room, when safely possible, for our safety. Our families also thank you.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws in Minnesota send your questions to Trp. Andy Schmidt- Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (Or reach me at, email@example.com)