* Meddling bureaucrats strike again…
A 2006 Illinois law that allows diners to carry home an unfinished bottle of wine is going to cost Illinois 3% of its federal highway construction money, or about $23.4 million this year.
A letter to the state from the U.S. Department of Transportation dated Wednesday said the money has to be transferred to measures against driving while impaired by alcohol, enforcement of drunk-driving laws and highway safety programs.
The state law amended the Illinois open-container law, allowing diners to carry resealed bottles home in a special tamper-proof, one-use-only bag. The amendment passed by wide margins in the Illinois House and Senate and took effect last year.
However, the letter says, the law failed to specify that the bottle has to be carried in the trunk or in the rear of the vehicle, in order to meet federal requirements. Illinois has 30 days to issue a rebuttal and show why its law does comply with federal requirements.
You’d think that other state statutes would clearly cover this situation. Open bottles, even in a bag (of any kind), already have to be placed far away from the driver. To declare this again seems kinda redundant, but that’s a big chunk of money we stand to lose, so I suppose the feds will force Illinois to amend the law.