Summer is here!! With it comes more time to enjoy the outdoors with warmer temperatures. Lately, much, much, warmer temperatures. As soon as it gets too hot, we need to cool down and we're pretty sure you know the laws about drinking while driving, it’s highly illegal. On the ladder of illegality, it’s up there.  

With that said, what’s the deal with everyone else in the car? If these passengers aren’t driving or will not be driving, they’re just being a general nuisance, can THEY have an open container of alcohol in Iowa?  

The State of Iowa has its views on the Subject

If you’re looking for the official and less amusing answer here it is straight from the state of Iowa itself: 

1 MOTOR VEHICLES AND LAW OF THE ROAD, §321.284A 321.284A Open containers in motor vehicles — passengers. 1. A passenger in a motor vehicle upon a public street or highway shall not possess in the passenger area of the motor vehicle an open or unsealed bottle, can, jar, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage. “Passenger area” means the area of a motor vehicle designed to seat the driver and passengers while the motor vehicle is in operation and any area that is readily accessible to the driver or a passenger while in their seating positions, including the glove compartment. An open or unsealed receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage may be transported in the trunk of the motor vehicle. An unsealed receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage may be transported behind the last upright seat of the motor vehicle if the motor vehicle does not have a trunk. 2. This section does not apply to a passenger being transported in a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, or a passenger being transported in the living quarters of a motor home, motorsports recreational vehicle, manufactured or mobile home, travel trailer, or fifth-wheel travel trailer. 3. A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a simple misdemeanor punishable as a scheduled violation under section 805.8A, subsection 14, paragraph “e”. 4. A person under the age of twenty-one years who violates this section is guilty of a violation of section 123.47. 5. The department shall not include a conviction for a violation of this section on the individual driving record of the person committing the violation and the conviction shall not be considered by the department in any proceeding for suspension, revocation, barring, or denying of the person’s driver’s license or upon any application for renewal of driving privileges. 99 Acts, ch 77, §2; 2001 Acts, ch 137, §5; 2001 Acts, ch 153, §15; 2001 Acts, ch 176, §80; 2010 Acts, ch 1128, §6; 2014 Acts, ch 1127, §9 

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 The answer could be in your grasp

Now that you’ve read all that. The short answer is NO. You can’t have an open container in the car. Not one person can. If it’s a Volkswagen Bug filled with clowns and it’s in Iowa, not one of the thousand clowns can have ANY open alcohol containers.  

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If you're trying to trick the system

They’ve even got you covered if you’re trying to slip through the cracks with moonshine, they have “jars” and “other receptacles” included.  

Under Iowa law, “a passenger in a motor vehicle that is present upon a highway or public street shall not possess in the passenger area an open or unsealed bottle, can, "jar", or "other receptacle" containing an alcoholic beverage. 

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