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VOL. 39 | NO. 13 | Friday, March 27, 2015

Bill to ban passengers from drinking in vehicles fails

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NASHVILLE (AP) — The latest effort to make it a crime to have open alcohol containers in vehicles driving on Tennessee roads has failed in a House committee.

It's already illegal in Tennessee to consume alcoholic beverages while driving, but that law does not extend to passengers.

The perennial legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol was defeated on a voice vote in the State Government Committee on Tuesday. This year's version would have included exemptions for chauffeur-driven cars, motor homes and other commercial vehicles.

Because Tennessee's open container law for passengers doesn't meet federal regulations, some of the state's share of federal road money is diverted from road projects to areas like specialized drunken-driving prosecutors and grants to pay police overtime for DUI enforcement.

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