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State v. Loge

Supreme Court of Minnesota
608 N.W.2d 152 (2000)


Steven Loge (defendant) was driving his father’s pickup truck on the highway when he was stopped by two police officers for speeding. While one officer was talking with Loge outside Loge’s vehicle, the other officer observed what appeared to be a beer bottle in a paper bag under the passenger side of the vehicle’s seat. The officer retrieved the beer bottle, which was open and foaming, and also found one empty can of beer and one unopened can. Loge claimed he was unaware the open bottle was in the vehicle. Loge was cited under Minnesota Statutes § 169.122(3) for the misdemeanor offense of keeping or allowing to be kept an open container of alcohol in a vehicle driving on a public highway. The trial court determined that § 169.122(3) was a strict-liability offense and imposed liability without regard to whether Loge was aware the open bottle was in the vehicle. The court of appeals agreed with the trial court’s interpretation of § 169.122(3) and affirmed Loge’s conviction. Loge appealed the decision, arguing that § 169.122(3) requires knowledge of the presence of an open alcohol container to impose liability.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gilbert, J.)

Dissent (Anderson, J.)

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