Alcohol Open Container Requirements

To encourage States to enact and enforce an alcohol open container law.

Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog for the addresses of the Regional Offices of NHTSA.

Program Accomplishments

In FY 2007, 11 States and Puerto Rico received Section 154 transfer funds.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds transferred from NHTSA must be used for alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures or enforcement of driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence DUI) and other related laws.

A State may elect to use all or part of its transferred funds for activities eligible under Section 152 Hazard Elimination program.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State Highway Safety agencies.


If a State has not enacted and is not enforcing a Repeat Intoxicated Driver Law, then a State meets eligibility requirements. After being informed by NHTSA that it is eligible for a grant, the State submits to the agency a plan that describes the programs the State will implement using the funds.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded From coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

NHTSA Regional Administrators coordinate the qualification process with the Office of Injury Control Operations and Resources. This program is eligible for coverage under Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.

Award Procedures

Once the State provides the agency with a split letter to NHTSA, the State will be given access to the transfer and can obligate the funds.


States must have a compliant law by September 30 of each year.


Highway Safety Act of 1998, as amended, 23 U.S.C 154.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applicant should receive a response from the agency, between 30 to 90 days.


Not applicable.


States are eligible for the penalty for up to four years.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

If a State has not enacted or is not enforcing an alcohol open container law by September 30 of each fiscal year, it will receive a transfer in the amount of three-percent of the funds apportioned to the State under Section 402.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The Federal share is reimbursed on claims submitted in vouchers covering costs incurred. All participants have converted to the electronic transfer of funds method of payment. Funds placed in obligation are available until expended.

Post Assistance Requirements


The Annual Report required under the Section 402 State and Community Highway Safety formula grant program must include a progress report on the prior year's program and accomplishments.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of State and Local governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt for Federal audit requirements for that year. For direct procurement contracts, audit will be conducted in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation.


The project sponsor shall retain records for 3 years following submission of a final expenditure report and other project deliverables.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants)FY 07 $92,971,359; FY 08 and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$2,500,000 to $16,281,000. Average: $6,400,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

23 CFR 1270.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for the addresses of the Regional Offices of NHTSA.

Headquarters Office

For program issues, Tami Levitas, Office of Regional Operations and Program Delivery (NTI-200), NHTSA,1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20590, by telephone at (202) 366-2121 or by E-mail at For legal issues, Roland Baumann, Office of Chief Counsel, NCC-113, NHTSA,1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590, by telephone at (202) 366-1834 or by E-mail at

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