ASK A COP — Are empty beer cans illegal to have while driving?
Published 12:10 am Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Priscilla asks: I have an issue that puzzles me. I have two younger brothers, 23 and 19 years of age, who share the same vehicle. My younger brother always complains about his older brother leaving empty beer cans in the car, believing he’s gonna get in trouble if he gets stopped by the police. What should he do if he gets stopped by police with the empty beer cans in the car and he’s underage?
Answer: I will admit empty beer cans will rise suspicion with ANY police officer who happens to stop your underage brother driving a vehicle. But the key word here will be “EMPTY” beer cans. There’s no offense committed by your younger brother if the cans are empty and there’s no indication the underage driver has partaken in any detectable amount of an alcoholic beverage. It might help your brothers, especially the older one, if he/they would tidy up behind himself after parking the vehicle. I’d like to send a stern warning to the older brother about drinking and driving, or allowing alcoholic beverages to be consumed in his vehicle. Motorists who are under the influence of an alcoholic beverage make up at least 1/3rd of our fatalities on Texas roadways. He’s of age to consume alcoholic beverages in Texas, but there’s no age limit for LEGALLY drinking and driving on the roads of Texas.
Kevin asks: I’m a proud owner of a F-250 pickup and I saw something recently on another truck that I want dearly on my vehicle. But I have no interest in violating the Transportation Code of Texas. Is it a violation to have switch back bulbs installed on a vehicle in Texas? I saw a vehicle where all the lights on the front of it were white and when he signaled to turn the bulb switched back to amber. Is it illegal to have switch back lighting on a vehicle in Texas?
Answer: Of course you have a truck living in Texas, where boys like to play and accessorize their toys and horses (well that’s what non=Texans believe anyway). Too many motorists accessorize their vehicles without considering the legality of the change they make. In Texas the lighting change to your truck that you are referring to is legal. According to the Texas Transportation Code 547.324(c)(d), a turn signal lamp shall emit: (1) a WHITE or AMBER light, or a color between WHITE and AMBER if the lamp is mounted on the front of the vehicle. In Texas, “YES,” your turn signals in the front of your vehicle can be white. I hope motorists will start to pattern their vehicle accessorizing behavior after you and ask before trying.
Todd asks: There is a double yellow line almost all of the way on Gulfway. Most people have to cross the double yellow line to get in their driveway. Also on FM 365 they have the same situation.
Answer: We would have quite a mess on our hands if you were NOT allowed to turn across double yellow lines in Texas. The act of turning across double yellow lines in Texas is NOT ILLEGAL! In Texas, the double yellow line means NO PASSING — no matter if you can plainly see no other vehicle is coming your way from a long distance. All of the vehicles you are finding crossing the double yellow line are obeying the law! Keep in mind you CANNOT turn across a DOUBLE WHITE LINE in Texas.
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