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Drinking in the back of my westy / RV / Camp- California Law
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waxmble
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Drinking in the back of my westy / RV / Camp- California Law Reply with quote

Silly question:

Does anyone know the California law (I've done tons of research to no luck) regarding drinking alcohol in the back of an RV / camper etc? I've heard its ok in a motorhome etc but is it legal for my friends to drink beer when I'm driving in my 71 westy? Is it bcause my westy is classified as a van instead of camper? Can I classify it as a camper with the dmv?

Just curious, like having wine watching the sunset in Carlsbad Wink ...

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VDubTech
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure about CA law, but common sense would dictate that it would be illegal for anyone to have an open container of alcohol when you're driving. Sitting in it and drinking while camping or parked shouldn't be a problem I would think, but I wouldn't allow anyone to consume alcohol while I'm driving anywhere.
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spiffy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, a DUI can be given for all kinds of extenuating circumstances. Here in WA if you decide to sllep it off in your car you can get a DUI if you even have the keys within reach. I would rather be safe, keep my insurance low, others safe and then you can party when you get to your destination, IMHO.
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regis101
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our 78 Westy is registered as a housecar. It says HSCR on the title. I am told that this enables open containers. The second half of that is that any container ( i.e., ice chests ) with alcoholic tasties is not to be within arms reach of the driver.

I usually have the passengers transfer their beverage to a regular cup if they must partake whilst I'm driving. Or at least be discreet about it.

I like to think of our westy as a small motorhome. I'd be willing to bet that EVERY one of them non-VW things rolling down the highway has some sort of drunken non seatbelt wearing poker game type of party going on.

Happy Trails,Regis
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Last edited by regis101 on Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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EdW
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RV laws only apply if you have your vehicle registered and plated as an RV.
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tristessa
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I didn't think my copy of the California Vehicle Code would be all that useful anymore when I moved out of state .. but once again, I'm wrong. Laughing The important parts are bolded below:

Quote:
23229. (a) Except as provided in Section 23229.1, Sections 23221 and 23223 do not apply to passengers in any bus, taxicab, or limousine for hire licensed to transport passengers pursuant to the Public Utilities Code or proper local authority, or the living quarters of a housecar or camper.


Also look at CVC23221 for reference (alcohol in a motor vehicle), CVC27315(e) (still have to wear seatbelts) and CVC362 (definition of a housecar). Maybe make a copy of those sections and keep 'em in the glovebox with the registration.

And for all of y'all who don't have a personal copy of the CVC, the DMV has it online. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vc.htm
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MrBreeze
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it worth the possible hassle, right or wrong? Wait until you get where you're going.
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GeorgeL
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tristessa wrote:
Wow, I didn't think my copy of the California Vehicle Code would be all that useful anymore when I moved out of state .. but once again, I'm wrong. Laughing The important parts are bolded below:

Quote:
23229. (a) Except as provided in Section 23229.1, Sections 23221 and 23223 do not apply to passengers in any bus, taxicab, or limousine for hire licensed to transport passengers pursuant to the Public Utilities Code or proper local authority, or the living quarters of a housecar or camper.


Also look at CVC23221 for reference (alcohol in a motor vehicle), CVC27315(e) (still have to wear seatbelts) and CVC362 (definition of a housecar). Maybe make a copy of those sections and keep 'em in the glovebox with the registration.

And for all of y'all who don't have a personal copy of the CVC, the DMV has it online. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vc.htm


And, it's searchable! For example, the definition of a "Camper" is:

California Vehicle Code wrote:
243. A "camper" is a structure designed to be mounted upon a motor vehicle and to provide facilities for human habitation or camping purposes. A camper having one axle shall not be considered a vehicle.


So, a VW bus camper is not a "camper" in the eyes of the CVC.

There is more hope in the following:

California Vehicle Code wrote:
362. A "house car" is a motor vehicle originally designed, or permanently altered, and equipped for human habitation, or to which a camper has been permanently attached. A motor vehicle to which a camper has been temporarily attached is not a house car except that, for the purposes of Division 11 (commencing with Section 21000) and Division 12 (commencing with Section 24000), a motor vehicle equipped with a camper having an axle that is designed to support a portion of the weight of the camper unit shall be considered a three-axle house car regardless of the method of attachment or manner of registration. A house car shall not be deemed to be a motortruck.


This defines what a housecar is. Note that it does not say that the vehicle has to be registered as a housecar to be defined as such. As long as it has those "permanent alterations" it is a housecar.

Still, better to avoid the discussion with Officer Friendly entirely. Nothing like a nice homey set of curtains or nice dark window tint to avoid prying eyes. Keep the brewskis out of the hands of the person riding shotgun as well.

George
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udidwht
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject: . Reply with quote

As long as the alcohol stays out of the drivers area your legal in the state of California. This applies to RV's, Campers, Housecars, Limo's, etc...

As follows: see section (c)

Storage of Opened Container in Passenger Compartment


23226. (a) It is unlawful for any driver to keep in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, when the vehicle is upon any highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 23220, any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

(b) It is unlawful for any passenger to keep in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, when the vehicle is upon any highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 23220, any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

(c) This section shall not apply to the living quarters of a housecar or camper.
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GeorgeL
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: . Reply with quote

udidwht wrote:
As long as the alcohol stays out of the drivers area your legal in the state of California. This applies to RV's, Campers, Housecars, Limo's, etc...

As follows: see section (c)

Storage of Opened Container in Passenger Compartment


23226. (a) It is unlawful for any driver to keep in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, when the vehicle is upon any highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 23220, any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

(b) It is unlawful for any passenger to keep in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle, when the vehicle is upon any highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 23220, any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

(c) This section shall not apply to the living quarters of a housecar or camper.


You have to be a bit careful with this. The letter of the law makes it legal to have an open container in the back seat of a Westy, but the same open container in the back seat of my Deluxe would be illegal.

This leads to an troublesome dilemma. How do I transport that half-consumed bottle of Dom Perginon home from a fine dinner at Chez Expenseev? I can't have it anywhere inside my Deluxe and be legal! I guess that Dom is going to have to ride the roof rack, or cuddle up with the oil bottles in the engine bay. Smile

George
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regis101
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigh....Gone are the days of cruising around with the keg looking for more parties
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pyrOman
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We just went through this... Oh, I'm sorry, this IS the fatchick forum! Embarassed


Yes, you can have a party going on in a vehicle duly registered as a housecar! Very Happy

But think about it, do you really want to chance getting the one constable on patrol that tunrs out to be an ass-teroid? Confused

The link was just given. If you don't want to find it there, go to the dmv or get yourself an attorney. Think
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GeorgeL
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pyrOman wrote:
Yes, you can have a party going on in a vehicle duly registered as a housecar! Very Happy


Go back and read the CVC section 362 quoted above. It doesn't have to be _registered_ as a housecar to legally _be_ a housecar. It only has to be "permanently altered, and equipped for human habitation".
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Adventurewagen
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiffy wrote:
Yep, a DUI can be given for all kinds of extenuating circumstances. Here in WA if you decide to sllep it off in your car you can get a DUI if you even have the keys within reach.


Man, that would suck. I use my bus as my party mobile. I'll drive to a buddies house for a big party, park it, pull the bed out "while sober" then get tanked and stagger back to the bus and go to bed. Much nicer than waking up on your buddies sofa or floor. It would sure suck to get hassled in the middle of the night by a cop and have him give you a DUI. I find it highly doubtful though under the circumstances that you'd get one if you explained what the plan was, but you never know.

As for the open container, just move to Wyoming or somewhere where open containers are ok in a moving vehicle just as long as its not the driver with the container Smile
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pyrOman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeorgeL wrote:
pyrOman wrote:
Yes, you can have a party going on in a vehicle duly registered as a housecar! Very Happy


Go back and read the CVC section 362 quoted above. It doesn't have to be _registered_ as a housecar to legally _be_ a housecar. It only has to be "permanently altered, and equipped for human habitation".


Fine. But again, you'll have to ask yourself "do I feel lucky"! Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pyrOman wrote:

Fine. But again, you'll have to ask yourself "do I feel lucky"! Confused


Yes... ::hiccup::
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pyrOman wrote:
GeorgeL wrote:
Go back and read the CVC section 362 quoted above. It doesn't have to be _registered_ as a housecar to legally _be_ a housecar. It only has to be "permanently altered, and equipped for human habitation".


Fine. But again, you'll have to ask yourself "do I feel lucky"! Confused

When I was younger and still living in California, my answer was yes. I went to court a couple of times over vehicle code issues back when I owned a '54 Chevy pickup. First time was over a citation for only having one brakelight and having no turn signals, the other was a citation for failure to wear (and have!) seatbelts. The truck was factory equipped with one brake brake light, no turn signals and no seatbelts. Despite what Officer Friendly (#1) and Lieutenant Friendly (#2) seemed to think, I couldn't be *required* to install and use lights and equpiment that weren't factory installed. Having read the vehicle code, I knew this, fought the tickets, and both cases were decided in my favor and summarily dismissed.

There are law enforcement officials in California going around enforcing what they think the laws say. Those individials need to learn (and understand!) what the law actually is. At minimum, a "Clif Notes" version of the CVC should be standard issue for dispatch to help keep from wasting everyone's time.
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pyrOman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True that. I have gone in front of a judge a couple of times both getting off much easier than if I'd just paid the fine and/or argue with the policeman. Smile

But again, in this day and age, I rather spend my time doing something else than having to go to court even when I already know I'm right. Confused

Maybe if the situation arises but otherwise, I rather prevent it. Razz

If you fell like teaching these officers then by all means, more power to you. Cool
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tristessa
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pyrOman wrote:
If you fell like teaching these officers then by all means, more power to you. Cool

But see, we (the citizens) shouldn't have to teach them. There's a whole slew of training & education that people have to go through before they become officers, and little things like "understanding the law" are supposed to be part of it.

Too many of the ones I've encountered seem to have majored in Donuts 101 and Advanced Quota Filling. Rolling Eyes
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GeorgeL
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tristessa wrote:
pyrOman wrote:
If you fell like teaching these officers then by all means, more power to you. Cool

But see, we (the citizens) shouldn't have to teach them. There's a whole slew of training & education that people have to go through before they become officers, and little things like "understanding the law" are supposed to be part of it.

Too many of the ones I've encountered seem to have majored in Donuts 101 and Advanced Quota Filling. Rolling Eyes


Well, it's really a matter of roles. The officer's role is to accuse, the lawyer's role is to argue, and the judge's role is to interpret the law.

That's the way it is supposed to work. Unfortunately, the relative hassle/benefit ratio of going to court often makes the officer the judge.

I do agree on the fact that officers should know the laws they enforce. However, I doubt that this will ever happen. It's a lot easier for most officers to go by "general knowledge" than to actually look something up. They leave the actual knowledge of the law to the judges.

Still, it would be pretty audacious for a cop to write someone for a supposed offense when there is a copy of the vehicle code section right there for him to read. He doesn't want a judge to hear "Your Honor, I showed the officer the vehicle code section that states [whatever] but he refused to believe it."
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