What does the law say about passengers drinking alcohol?

Question:

I am trying to find the particular Johannesburg bylaw that will deal with passengers drinking in a car. Are passengers allowed to drink alcohol in a motor vehicle? What differentiates them from, say, limousines, buses and planes?

Answer from our experts:

As far as I know the by-law relates to drinking in public, not really drinking in motor cars. If a person can be seen drinking by other persons in a public place or vehicle he may be charged. [Alta Swanepoel]

I concur with Alta’s statement on this issue and I would go further to say that I am not aware of any bylaw that makes it unlawful for anyone who is not driving to consume alcohol in a motor vehicle, which is in fact private property.

However I would hasten to add that the private property in question would be in a public place by virtue of being on a public road and therefore there may be a possibility that this could be interpreted as drinking in public. The consumption of alcohol should really be limited to places designated for that purpose like one’s own home or a licensed premises. [Howard Dembovsky]

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