Driving with Ohio’s alcohol take-out law.
Ohio’s to-go alcohol sales recently became permanent with the signing into law of House Bill 669. Many Ohioans are confused by the idea of driving home with an alcoholic beverage in the cupholder next to their driver’s seat. But I am from Louisiana, where we have drive through Daquiri shops on every corner. I have been well versed in the intricacies of transporting Styrofoam cups of Bahama Mama and Sex on the Beach since I was…, well, for a long time.
But can you, in Ohio, put that takeout container in the cupholder next to the driver’s seat? YES.
People in Ohio are expected to keep the alcoholic drink sealed until they arrive home. If you consume the drink on your way home, it is a criminal act. The only restriction for transportation is that it remains closed and sealed.
What does sealed mean? It means that the cup or container remains in the condition in which you received it from the restaurant: lid on, maybe tape across the straw hole, or even a plastic screw top firmly closed. That means you cannot put a straw into the lid or into the beverage while it is in the car with you.
Ohio State Police are already on the lookout for the telltale signs of drinking while driving. When you consume alcohol, the human body reacts immediately in small but perceivable ways and police are trained to observe these changes. Do not be tempted to just have a sip while on your trip! The penalties and other consequences are just not worth it.
If you have been ticketed or arrested for violating this law, contact an attorney right away.