Legislation

Montana lawmaker seeks to bring back the 'road beer'

Montana lawmakers are slated to debate a proposed bill that would allow vehicle passengers to have a so-called “road beer.”

House Bill 206 would lift the ban on open alcohol containers for passengers in a vehicle on Montana highways. Drivers would still be restricted from drinking alcohol while operating a vehicle.

State Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings, has backed the bill despite critics pointing out that the legislation could increase the amount of drunk drivers.

"The argument was made -- how about if it tempts the driver?" Zolnikov told NBC Montana on Wednesday. "That's like saying (designated drivers) shouldn't go to bars in case they're tempted to have a drink. Where is the self-responsibility? This isn't allowing for people to drink and drive, it's allowing a passenger to have a beer."

The 29-year-old politician added on Twitter “Why can’t passengers have a drink?”

He told KGVO that “most Montanans are already ignoring open container laws anyway. It’s time to stop “treating adults like children.”