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What’s the law around PASSENGERS drinking in taxis and PHVs?

Updated: May 8, 2023



Taxi drivers ferry all sections of the community and late night on a Friday will no doubt encounter those that may be enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two.


There are many obvious laws around drinking and driving, but can PASSENGERS drink in a taxi?

Many might think that it’s against the law to have an open bottle or can of alcohol in a publicly licensed taxi… but surprisingly it’s not.


As a cabbie, drinking on the job is obviously a HUGE no-no! But for the passengers in the back it is not illegal for an adult to drink alcohol.

That said, it is completely up to the taxi driver whether it's acceptable to eat or drink in their cab. Drinking alcohol whilst moving from a to b in a taxi or private hire vehicle isn’t really accepted as normal practice. Having respect for the taxi driver's working environment is vitally important.


Some cabbies allow drinks for special events like pre-arranged Christmas lights tours or celebrations including Birthday’s or hen-nights. It is basically all at the driver's discretion and that should be respected given the safety implications.

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