Missouri Open Container LawCurrently, the State of Missouri does not have an open container law making it illegal to have open containers of alcohol in a vehicle. That being said, drivers must be aware that Missouri Revised Statute 577.017 states “No person shall consume any alcoholic beverage while operating a moving motor vehicle…”  and an officer may cite a driver for an infraction if probable cause exists to believe a driver consumed beverages in violation of this law. However, and as you can see, this law only applies to the operator/driver of the motor vehicle. Therefore, it is not illegal, according to the State of Missouri, for the passengers to possess and/or consume alcoholic beverages in a moving motor vehicle.

It is important to remember, while the State of Missouri does not have any laws making open containers illegal, local and municipal laws/ordinances are being enacted which trump Missouri law and make open containers illegal in the vehicle while driving through these certain municipalities. Some municipalities which may have laws affecting passengers, include, but are not limited to, the following: Bates City, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Cabool, Clarence, Clarkson Valley, Columbia, Crystal City, Cuba, Elsberry, Foristell, Harrisonville, Hermann, Independence, Lamar, Lake Lotawanna, Lexington, Liberty, Licking, Linn, Maryville, Neosho, New Franklin, Normandy, Osage Beach, Salisbury, St. Charles, St. John, Trenton, Verona, Warson Woods, and Weston.

Illinois Open Container Law

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/11 – 502, no driver or passenger may have an alcoholic beverage in any passenger area of the vehicle unless it is in its original container and the seal is unbroken. While there are a few limited exceptions involving limousines, buses and motor homes, it is illegal to have open containers of alcohol in a vehicle while in the State of Illinois.


The purpose of this post is to provide information and an answer to a common question. That being said, drivers must exercise the highest degree of care when operating motor vehicles, and such care should probably include not allowing your passengers to consume alcoholic beverages in your vehicle. While this is already illegal in Illinois, Missouri drivers should remember that actions do not have to be illegal to be negligent.

If you, or anyone you know, has been cited for an open container violation, or if you have suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of another, please contact us at (314) 862-7805 to discuss your potential case or claim.