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Open Container Laws

Description of Strategy

Open container laws refer to any statute regulating open alcohol containers in public or in vehicles. Individual states and local municipalities determine these laws. While the federal government cannot directly legislate open container laws, they can create incentives for states to implement these laws on their own. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century sets out certain guidelines for states to follow in order to receive roadway funding. If the state fails to comply, a portion of the funding will go to alcohol awareness (Stuster, Burns, & Fiorentino, 2002).

Wyoming law prohibits possession of an open alcohol container by the driver or any vehicular passenger (State of Wyoming Legislature. § 31-5-235, 2017).

Discussion of Effectiveness


Evidence suggests that open container laws that regulate all vehicular passengers are effective for reducing alcohol-related fatal crashes (Eisenberg, 2003; Stuster, Burns, & Fiorentino, 2002; Whetten-Goldstein, Sloan, Stout, & Liang, 2000).