Bill Bans Booze In Cars… Sort Of

Many people don't even know that current Connecticut law allows open alcohol in cars.

"Actually, no, I didn't know that," said Judy Greene of Farmington.

It's been a hotly debated issue for years.

For the third year in a row, the Senate voted Tuesday night to pass a bill that would ban open containers. But under this proposal, police couldn't just write a ticket for having an open bottle in your car.

Senator Donald DeFronzo, a Democrat from New Britain, says this measure makes open alcohol a secondary offense.

"In order for a police officer to issue a citation under this law, they will have had to have stopped you for some other primary violation, like speeding or reckless driving," said Sen. DeFronzo.

That was one of compromises reached among legislators, but some say it takes the bite out of the law.

Mark Griffin was visiting Connecticut from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He didn't know open alcohol was allowed in cars in Connecticut and said the legislature should approve an all-out ban.

"I think it just needs to be open container, regardless of whether you're doing something else," said Griffin. "Cause if there's one open container ,they probably had two others, they're on their third and you know what's going to happen next."

But the Senate says this proposal gives police a place to start.

"As one of the senators noted upstairs, with this law in place, it's very likely that a police officer will attempt to find some other violation that he might not have been so conscientious about previously," Senator DeFronzo said.

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