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Lawmaker seeks to bring 'road beers' back to Montana

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MISSOULA, Mont. - This week lawmakers are mulling a bill that would bring "road beers" back to Montana.

House Bill 206 would lift the open alcohol container ban for passengers in a motor vehicle on Montana highways. Drivers would still be restricted.

Critics have said the bill would increase the chances of drunk driving, an argument the bill's sponsor, House Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings), strongly rejects.

"The argument was made -- how about if it tempts the driver?" Zolnikov said. "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 bill was debated Tuesday morning in the House Judiciary Committee. The next hearing for HB 206 has not yet been scheduled.

To read the full bill text click here.

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