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Got a case or bottle in your vehicle ?

Kip Powick

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Not sure how many of you saw the news item on CTV news last night so will give a brief summary.

A fellow in NS went to the beer store and picked up a case of beer and put it on the rear crew cab seat of his truck. He had to stop at a RIDE check and when the officer saw the case of unopened beer in the rear of the truck, charged the individual under theNS Provincial Liquor Control Act…that is…. he violated the law in that the NS provincial law states that alcohol can not be within reach of the driver etc….

He appealed his fine and lost, (I think it was around $700.00) but he brought up a good point. If one cannot have an unopened bottle in the back of a car, or on a car seat, why do they have “drive through” liquor outlets? The answer….. it is up to the driver to get out of his vehicle and place the liquor in the trunk.

(The OPP officer I talked to said that with respect to the NS incident, it sounded like it was an extremely over zealous officer who charged the driver)

I decided to see what the rules are for Ontario and they are below…

Conveying liquor in vehicle, boat

32. (1) No person shall drive or have the care or control of a motor vehicle as defined in the Highway Traffic Act or a motorized snow vehicle, whether it is in motion or not, while there is contained in the vehicle any liquor, except under the authority of a licence or permit.


(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the liquor in the vehicle,

(a) is in a container that is unopened and the seal unbroken; or

( b ) is packed in baggage that is fastened closed or is not otherwise readily available to any person in the vehicle.

What this means, according to the OPP officer I talked with, is that in ONTARIO, the UNOPENED case of beer or wine or “hard stuff” can be anywhere in the car as long as it is UNOPENED - 32(2) (a).

If one is carrying an open bottle of “hard stuff” or open case of beer, 32(2)( b ) would apply. In other words it should be in the trunk.

Now what do you do with an open bottle with an SUV or a Hatchback……? (32)(2)( b ) would apply and apparently it is at the Officers discretion.

With Christmas coming up, perhaps you might want to check your provincial Liquor Licence Act regulations just to be on the safe side.

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