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Be safe, rather than sorry on the highways

Question: I read (with interest) your response to the reader who asked about drinking in a moving RV. Your response brought to mind an additional issue. You state that the RV is a motor vehicle (I agree) and that it is illegal to have an open container in a motor vehicle. What then, is the situation of the RV owner, traveling from location to location, with open containers of liquor in the cabinet (much like we have a liquor cabinet in our (non-moveable) home?

Answer: According to MN statute 169A.35 Sb 6 clause (b) Subdivisions 3 and 4 (drinking or possessing) do not apply to a bottle or receptacle that is in the trunk of the vehicle if it is equipped with a trunk, or that is in another area of the vehicle not normally occupied by the driver and passengers if the vehicle is not equipped with a trunk. However, a utility compartment or glove compartment is deemed to be within the area occupied by the driver and passengers. Trooper Andy's take on this is that the kitchen/living area of the RV, where the cabinet containing the bottle is located, would not be considered in the area normally occupied by the driver or passengers and therefore it would be legal. Now some officers may argue with me on that but I think in a court they would find it hard to win. I wish you happy and safe travels, and as always be careful out there.

According to the Ted Foss law, when on a multi-lane road and approaching an emergency vehicle stopped on the side, with lights flashing, drivers are required to move over, if possible.

State Troopers are out there to help and protect you. Please help keep us safer by giving us that room, when safely possible, for our safety. Our families also thank you.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws in Minnesota send your questions to Trp. Andy Schmidt- Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (Or reach me at,