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Connecticut Law Could Affect Alcohol Consumption in Limousines

LCT Staff
Posted on May 9, 2007

BRISTOL, CONN. — Area lawmakers say it's time for the state to pass a bill that would prohibit open containers of alcohol in both limousines and other vehicles. State Rep. Frank Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat who serves on the transportation committee, supports the proposed law, which he said is moving through committees.

"There should be no open containers in a vehicle," Nicastro said. "We've got to crack down." The law, if passed, would make it illegal to have an open container of alcohol, cans of beer, bottles of wine or liquor, in a vehicle, said Nicastro.

"We've made gains," Nicastro said. "We haven't made enough. It's obvious something needs to be done." State Rep. Ron Burns, a Bristol Republican, also said he supports the measure. "I have no reason to believe why anyone would need to have an open container of alcohol in a vehicle," said Burns.

Burns said the current law, which permits passengers to drink alcohol, makes it too easy for a driver to hand off a bottle or can to a passenger. But state Rep. Zeke Zalaski, a Southington Democrat, had some reservations about the bill. He said he'll look at it carefully, but will probably support it in the end.

Burns said he'd like to know more about how the law would be enforced. He said he isn't sure the law ought to apply to hired vehicles driven by professionals who aren't drinking, such as tour buses and limousines. People sometimes hire a limo to take them to a show or a game, said Burns, and enjoy alcohol en route while a professional handles the driving.

"It actually does keep people off the road," said Burns. Nicastro said he believes the bill will pass.

Source: Bristol Press

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