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Local lawmaker supports ban on open containers in cars

A local lawmaker is proposing a ban on open containers of alcohol in the passenger areas of motor vehicles.  Newtown State Representative Mitch Bolinsky says the main goal is to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities resulting from drivers operating under the influence of alcohol. 


Connecticut is one of just 11 states without an open container law.  Bolinsky says without a federally-supported prohibition, the state has had to divert more than $90 million in federal funds away from infrastructure and highway maintenance programs since 2000--putting that money into “lower priority safety programs” such as DUI education and prevention. 


While important, Bolinsky says these programs can instead be funded by DMV and have highway dollars used for much-needed highway projects. 


Bolinsky says an open container of alcohol in a vehicle can clearly lead to an intoxicated motorist, which can lead to death.   When a designated-driver is totally unimpaired, he says there is always an increased risk of heightened distraction when that driver is hosting a carload of intoxicated friends.  Bolinsky says this proposed legislation is not focused on people at tailgating parties or vehicles-for-hire, such as party buses and limos.

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