Q: Can a New Driver Transport Alcohol in British Columbia?

red wine

Question: Hello, I have an N, and I was just wondering –  am I allowed to transport alcohol in my vehicle, like a case of beer?

My blood alcohol level would be zero as I would NEVER drink and drive, but some of my family members said that with an N you can get a ticket for even having liquor in your car? I am legal drinking age.

Hi, good question, and glad to hear you will never drink and drive 

Basically, you’re allowed to transport alcohol as long as it’s sealed/not opened and out of reach of the driver and/or passenger compartment, just like drivers of other license classes. 

Have it located as far away from the driver/passenger area as possible i.e. the trunk, box of the pickup truck, under the rear seats or in the very rear of the hatch… depending on the type of vehicle.  

And yes, any driver of any license class could get a ticket if the alcohol is opened or if it’s located right beside or near to the driver.

If you read this ICBC N Driver Restrictions Page it clearly states “You must not drive with any alcohol in your body.” It does not say “In your vehicle.”

Here is the actual law :

Liquor in Motor Vehicle

44  (1) In this section:

“motor home” has the same meaning as in the Motor Vehicle Act;

“motor vehicle” has the same meaning as in the Motor Vehicle Act, and includes an off-road vehicle as defined in the Off-Road Vehicle Act.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a person must not drive or otherwise exercise control over the operation of a motor vehicle, whether or not it is in motion, while there is liquor in the person’s possession or in the motor vehicle.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply

(a) if the liquor is in a container that is unopened and has an unbroken seal,

(b) if the liquor is being transported or used in accordance with a licence issued under this Act, or

(c) in any other case, if the motor vehicle

(i)   is a motor home and the liquor is kept in a cabinet away from the driver’s area,

(ii)   is a station wagon or hatchback and the liquor is behind the rear seat, whether or not that seat is in an upright position,

(iii)   is a pickup truck and the liquor is in an exterior compartment, a space designed for the carriage of baggage or parcels or any other location that is not readily accessible to any person in the motor vehicle,

(iv)   is a motorcycle and the liquor is not readily accessible to the operator, or

(v)   is not one referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (iv) and the liquor is in the trunk or space designed for the carriage of baggage or parcels.


Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada and is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, artist, philosopher, certified day dreamer and generally complicated human.

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