An RV or not, under no circumstances should you ever get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Not only does this endanger your life, but also puts all other road users at risk of injuries and wrongful death.
In addition to this, drunk driving is generally regarded as a criminal offense. You can go to jail and have a misdemeanor or felony criminal record for driving while intoxicated. If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, attorneys like the Chetson Firm can help you do away with or diminish the charge, but prevention has always been best.
When it comes to RVs (recreational vehicles), there are other additional laws surrounding drinking and driving. Despite offering accommodation and even serving as permanent homes, an RV is still an automobile.
As with most laws, the specifics will vary from one state to the other.
Most people purchase or rent an RV with the plans of traveling, sometimes even across national borders. It’s crucial to understand the statutes surrounding drinking and driving and RVs, lest you find yourself on the wrong side of the law in a new state.
Drinking in a Moving RV
Before you open that can of beer or bottle of wine to get the mood going on with your friends in an RV, there are a few things you should know.
Open Alcohol in the RV
Just like in any automobile, an open container of alcohol in an RV is going to raise eyebrows from the authorities.
The law allows a police officer to search your autohome without a warrant on suspicion that you have been driving after drinking. They can also give you a citation and charge you with DUI if found guilty.
Some states totally prohibit the presence of open alcohol in an RV. Others are not as strict if the open alcohol is in a closed compartment or the living quarters section. Most importantly, it should not be accessible to the driver, nor should they be drunk.
What if I am a Passenger?
Passengers in an RV include those sitting next to the driver and those in the accommodation quarters. Since no alcohol should be accessible to the driver, having an open bottle as the passenger can land you in trouble regardless of whether you were drinking.
However, depending on where you are, the rules might be favorable if you are a passenger in the living quarters of an RV. Some places will permit this depending on the vehicle’s length. At the end of the day, having sober passengers makes for a safer and better trip.
Drinking in a Parked RV
Whether you can drink in your RV when parked in one of the tens of thousands parks and sites in the country depends on several things.
First, what are the camp’s guidelines?
Some parks prohibit drinking for reasons such as the presence of children. Others will allow you to enjoy your drink as long as you do it responsibly. In other words, intoxication and peace disturbance will get you banned or even in a scuffle with the authorities. Ensure that you follow park rules because they enhance the safety and quality of your stay within.
Another factor to consider before opening that bottle in an RV site is whether you are in a dry or wet jurisdiction.
Dry and Wet Areas
In alcohol law, dry and wet counties refer to places that have illegalized any sale of alcohol and those that have not, respectively.
If you will be driving across states in your RV, ensure to check the list of dry counties. The punishment for violating this law is hefty fines or a jail term.