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Old 08-20-2008, 11:13 PM   #1
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Open containers? Where do you store beer/wine/tequila?

Gotta love the Mom on the SMB forum: we haven't even built our van and already I'm thinking of the margaritas...and worrying about the "open container" laws!
Seriously...where do you (legally) store open bottles of alcohol?

My paranoia on this topic comes from multiple summers of living out of my truck as a climber in Yosemite. As other "dirtbags" know, the rangers in Yosemite are notorious for hasseling climbers. An acquaintance of mine was cited for having an open bottle of wine in a cooler at the back of his van--not reachable from the driver's seat (or any other seat) in the van. I was told something about needing a physical division (like a trunk) between the driver and the alcohol.

Anyone have any insights on this one?
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:53 PM   #2
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I'll tell you where not to store your margarita mix. The freezer. Yeah I did a dumb thing. Put it in there to cool it off and forgot it. What a mess in the middle of nowhere. At least I didn't bring my carpet overlay on this trip.

We just store the tequila and wine in the trash can under the sink. I figure the smell of alcohol is long gone once we get on the road, and if a cop comes up with legitimate probably cause to search my van I'll fight it in court. My opinion (granted its not worth much) is that a closed and latched cabinet or a refrigerator is a physical barrier.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:02 AM   #3
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My understanding on this is that if the van is registered as an RV then the area behind the cab is legally the same as your home, open containers are legal and a judge's search warrant is needed to search. The cab is still considered a vehicle so no open containers and only probable cause needed to search. I'm sure this may vary from state to state as well.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammyauto
My understanding on this is that if the van is registered as an RV then the area behind the cab is legally the same as your home, open containers are legal and a judge's search warrant is needed to search. The cab is still considered a vehicle so no open containers and only probable cause needed to search. I'm sure this may vary from state to state as well.
I am very curious about this for California. If it is considered your home then could you keep a loaded firearm back there?
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:27 AM   #5
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Interesting, I never thought about that aspect. would be nice to know. Some reasearch is in order.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:37 AM   #6
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Indeed. Anyone here an attorney familiar with CA law? I would imagine you cannot have it reachable from the cab.
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:59 PM   #7
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Not sure on the law in that area, but I solved it with a CCW.
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Found this on the internet:
http://www.tommccarty.com/mobile_hot_tu ... ainer.html
Looks like its ok on the highway but BLM looks like a bust. go figure.
I just found this one also,look at the second part of A: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc23229.htm
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
Indeed. Anyone here an attorney familiar with CA law? I would imagine you cannot have it reachable from the cab.
This is where guns and alcohol mix...kind of.
Not an attorney but:
With certain exceptions a concealed hand gun can be transported within a motor vehicle without a permit only by carrying it: 1) unloaded; 2) locked in the vehicle’s trunk or in a separate locked container other than the utility or glove compartment. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, it must be carried in a locked container separate from the utility or glove compartment. Ammunition cannot be attached to the handgun in any manor. State law does not specifically say how to legally transport a concealed handgun without a concealed weapon permit on a motorcycle, in a private plane, in a boat or in a knapsack. Nothing in case law can be relied upon to explain the law’s requirement. Penal code section 12026.1 (a)(2) states that a handgun may be legally carried to and from a motor vehicle concealed without a permit as long as it is carried “directly to and from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm, the firearm is contained within a locked container.” In the absence of more of more specific provisions in the codes, people who transport a handgun concealed without a permit on a motorcycle, plane, or boat could probably avoid law enforcement problems by carrying the handgun in a locked container.

You cannot continually carry a concealed handgun in your vehicle even if the weapon is in a locked container and even if it is not in the utility or glove compartment without a concealed weapons permit.
The legal authorization to transport a concealed handgun without a permit unloaded and in a motor vehicle’s trunk or a separate locked container in Penal code Section 12026.1 applies only while going to or from the specific places, and for the specific purposes, identified in Penal Code Section 12026.2 (going hunting or from a range, etc.). It is illegal to carry a concealed handgun without a permit for general purposes, such as self-defense, even though the firearm is transported in the trunk of a motor vehicle or in a separate locked container. Section 12026.1 is not clear on this point, but Section 12026.2 is, so it is prudent to read them together. Again handguns lawfully transported concealed in a motor vehicle’s trunk or in a separate locked container cannot be loaded nor can the ammunition be attached to them in any manner.

Technically one can transport a handgun in a motor vehicle in plain site, as long as the handgun is not loaded and not even partially concealed from view in any way (such as under a seat, or being concealed inside a holster or a non-locking gun case.
But this manor of transporting a handgun may result in unnecessary problems and legal expenses. (People who notice your handgun might report you. An encounter with law enforcement may pose to be dangerous and they may take custody of the firearm pending an investigation. Court/lawyer fees may cost more than the weapon itself. If you tell an officer that you have a weapon, he/she has the right to inspect you vehicle to check if the weapon is loaded).

When driving a motor home it is treated as a motor vehicle and you must transport your firearms as outlined above. When you are camping in your motor home however, it may be treated as a “residence.” The Penal Code Section 12031 prohibition against carrying a loaded firearm provides an exception for a “temporary residence” or “campsite” are not defined, so this is another legal “gray” area. If you have entered an established campground and are “hooked up”, this should qualify as a temporary residence or campsite. If you have merely pulled into a highway rest stop to sleep for a few hours, this is not likely to qualify. If you were to be prosecuted for having a loaded firearm in your motor home, the issue of whether you were at a temporary residence or campsite would be decided by a jury.

Also certain public lands such as city, county, state, and federal areas may prohibit firearms of any kind even with a concealed weapons permit.

California law makers backed by stupid people….My heros.

As far as alcohol I think in an RV you can have an open container provided it out of reach of the driver. But I do keep booze in the fridge. I don't think I would have a problem but like guns it's up to the officer how he/she see's it. My view is out of sight is your best friend. I'm not sure about Yosemite...that's a government area with different laws than California I'm thinkin
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scatter
Not sure on the law in that area, but I solved it with a CCW.
You were able to score a CCW in California? I'm jealous.


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