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Title 23 Part 1270

Title 23 → Chapter II → Subchapter D → Part 1270

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 23 Part 1270

e-CFR data is current as of August 10, 2018

Title 23Chapter IISubchapter D → Part 1270


Title 23: Highways


PART 1270—OPEN CONTAINER LAWS


Contents
§1270.1   Scope.
§1270.2   Purpose.
§1270.3   Definitions.
§1270.4   Compliance criteria.
§1270.5   [Reserved].
§1270.6   Reservation of funds.
§1270.7   Use of reserved funds.
§1270.8   Procedures affecting States in noncompliance.
§1270.9   States' responsibilities regarding compliance.

Authority: 23 U.S.C. 154; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.85 and 1.95.

Source: 81 FR 67166, Sept. 30, 2016, unless otherwise noted.

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§1270.1   Scope.

This part prescribes the requirements necessary to implement Section 154 of Title 23 of the United States Code which encourages States to enact and enforce open container laws.

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§1270.2   Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to specify the steps that States must take to avoid the reservation and transfer of Federal-aid highway funds for noncompliance with 23 U.S.C. 154.

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§1270.3   Definitions.

As used in this part:

(a) Alcoholic beverage means:

(1) Beer, ale, porter, stout, and other similar fermented beverages (including sake or similar products) of any name or description containing one-half of 1 percent or more of alcohol by volume, brewed or produced from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute therefor;

(2) Wine of not less than one-half of 1 per centum of alcohol by volume; or

(3) Distilled spirits which is that substance known as ethyl alcohol, ethanol, or spirits of wine in any form (including all dilutions and mixtures thereof from whatever source or by whatever process produced).

(b) FHWA means the Federal Highway Administration.

(c) Motor vehicle means a vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on public highways, but does not include a vehicle operated solely on a rail or rails.

(d) NHTSA means the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(e) Open alcoholic beverage container means any bottle, can, or other receptacle that:

(1) Contains any amount of alcoholic beverage; and

(2) Is open or has a broken seal or the contents of which are partially removed (regardless of whether it has been closed or resealed).

(f) Open container law means a State law or combination of laws that meets the minimum requirements specified in §1270.4.

(g) Passenger area means the area 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.

(h) Public highway or right-of-way of a public highway means the width between and immediately adjacent to the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel; inclusion of the roadway and shoulders is sufficient.

(i) State means any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

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§1270.4   Compliance criteria.

(a) To avoid the reservation of funds specified in §1270.6, a State must enact and enforce an open container law that prohibits the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container, and the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of any motor vehicle (including possession or consumption by the driver of the vehicle) located on a public highway, or the right-of-way of a public highway, in the State.

(b) The law must apply to:

(1) The possession of any open alcoholic beverage container and the consumption of any alcoholic beverage;

(2) The passenger area of any motor vehicle;

(3) All alcoholic beverages;

(4) All occupants of a motor vehicle; and

(5) All motor vehicles located on a public highway or the right-of-way of a public highway.

(c) The law must provide for primary enforcement.

(d) Exceptions. (1) If a State has in effect a law that makes unlawful the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container and the consumption of any alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of any motor vehicle, but permits the possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a locked container (such as a locked glove compartment), or, in a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk, either behind the last upright seat or in an area not normally occupied by the driver or a passenger, the State will be deemed to have in effect a law that applies to the passenger area of any vehicle, as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) If a State has in effect a law that makes unlawful the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container and the consumption of any alcoholic beverage by the driver (but not by a passenger) in the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, or in the living quarters of a house coach or house trailer, the State shall be deemed to have in effect a law that applies to all occupants of a motor vehicle with respect to such motor vehicles, as provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section.

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§1270.5   [Reserved].

§1270.6   Reservation of funds.

(a) On October 1 of each fiscal year, if a State has not enacted or is not enforcing a law that complies with §1270.4, FHWA will reserve an amount equal to 2.5 percent of the funds apportioned to the State for that fiscal year under each of 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(1) and (b)(2).

(b) The reservation of funds will be made based on proportionate amounts from each of the apportionments under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(1) and (b)(2). The State's Department of Transportation will have 30 days from the date the funds are reserved under this section to notify FHWA, through the appropriate Division Administrator, if it would like to change the distribution of the amounts reserved between 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(1) and (b)(2).

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§1270.7   Use of reserved funds.

(a) Not later than 60 days after the funds are reserved under §1270.6, the Governor's Representative for Highway Safety and the Chief Executive Officer of the State's Department of Transportation for each State must jointly identify, in writing to the appropriate NHTSA Regional Administrator and FHWA Division Administrator, how the funds will be programmed between alcohol-impaired driving programs under paragraph (c) of this section and highway safety improvement program activities under paragraph (d) of this section. Funds will remain reserved until this notification is provided by the State.

(b) As soon as practicable after NHTSA and FHWA receive the notification described in paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary will:

(1) Transfer the reserved funds identified by the State for alcohol-impaired driving programs under paragraph (c) of this section to the apportionment of the State under 23 U.S.C. 402; and

(2) Release the reserved funds identified by the State for highway safety improvement program activities under paragraph (d) of this section to the State Department of Transportation.

(c) Any funds transferred under paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be—

(1) Used for approved projects for alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures; or

(2) Directed to State and local law enforcement agencies for enforcement of laws prohibiting driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence and other related laws (including regulations), including the purchase of equipment, the training of officers, and the use of additional personnel for specific alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures, dedicated to enforcement of the laws (including regulations).

(d) Any funds released under paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall be used for highway safety improvement program activities eligible under 23 U.S.C. 148.

(e) Once the funds have been transferred or released under paragraph (b) of this section, the State may not revise the notification described in paragraph (a) of this section identifying how the funds will be programmed between alcohol-impaired driving programs and highway safety improvement program activities.

(f) The Federal share of the cost of any project carried out with the funds transferred or released under paragraph (b) of this section is 100 percent.

(g)(1) If any funds are transferred under paragraph (b)(1) of this section to the apportionment of a State under Section 402 for a fiscal year, the amount of obligation authority determined under paragraph (g)(2) of this section shall be transferred for carrying out projects described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) The obligation authority referred to in paragraph (g)(1) of this section shall be transferred from the obligation authority distributed for the fiscal year to the State for Federal-aid highways and highway safety construction programs, and the amount shall be determined by multiplying:

(i) The amount of funds transferred under paragraph (b)(1) of this section to the apportionment of the State under Section 402 for the fiscal year; by

(ii) The ratio that:

(A) The amount of obligation authority distributed for the fiscal year to the State for Federal-aid highways and highway safety construction programs; bears to

(B) The total of the sums apportioned to the State for Federal-aid highways and highway safety construction programs (excluding sums not subject to any obligation limitation) for the fiscal year.

(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no limitation on the total obligations for highway safety programs under Section 402 shall apply to funds transferred under paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

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§1270.8   Procedures affecting States in noncompliance.

(a) Each fiscal year, each State determined to be in noncompliance with 23 U.S.C. 154 and this part will be advised of the funds reserved from apportionment under §1270.6 in the notice of apportionments required under 23 U.S.C. 104(e), which normally occurs on October 1.

(b) Each State whose funds are reserved under §1270.6 will be afforded 30 days from the date of issuance of the notice of apportionments described in paragraph (a) of this section to submit documentation showing why it is in compliance. Documentation must be submitted to the appropriate NHTSA Regional Administrator. If such documentation is provided, a reservation will remain in place on the State's affected funds while the agencies consider the information. If the agencies affirm the noncompliance determination, the State will be notified of the decision and the affected funds will be processed in accordance with the requests regarding the derivation and distribution of funds provided by the State as required by §§1270.6(b) and 1270.7(a).

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§1270.9   States' responsibilities regarding compliance.

(a) States are responsible for ensuring compliance with 23 U.S.C. 154 and this part.

(b) A State that has been determined to be in compliance with the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 154 and this part must promptly notify the appropriate NHTSA Regional Administrator in writing of any change or change in enforcement of the State's open container law, identifying the specific change(s).

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