Abogados de Tráfico y Tickets

Open Container Laws Explained

junio 6, 2013

Many states have so-called open container laws, which make it illegal to have an open container of alcohol anywhere in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.  If you are the driver of the vehicle, it is important for you to know that you can be cited under an open container law even if you are not the person consuming the alcohol.

In Florida, an open container is defined as “any container of alcoholic beverage which is immediately capable of being consumed from, or the seal of which has been broken.”  So under Florida law, even an empty beer can can be considered an open container.  If you are the driver of a vehicle where passengers have been drinking, it is in your best interest to ensure that no one bring a “to-go cup” into the car for the trip home.  We said it but it bears repeating – even if you, the driver, are not consuming the alcohol, you run the risk of receiving a ticket under the open container laws.  Penalties range from fines to a potential criminal conviction, so it is not worth the risk.  If you are driving home from a party and have leftover alcohol, store it in a locked trunk to ensure you are in compliance with the law.

If you are cited for having an open container, whether as the driver or the passenger, you may want to talk to an experienced traffic ticket attorney to assist you.  The penalties for open container violations can be severe so before you go at it alone, consider having a lawyer in your corner.  The Ticket Clinic has defended over 1 million traffic-related offenses, including open container violations and DUI.  Call us at 1.800.CITATION.