What are the Prohibitions Under Open Container Law and the Punishments for Owning an Open Container of Liquor in a Vehicle

“Drunk and drive” prohibition is a violation of the law in all the states of the country for obvious reasons. But in so many states, even possessing an open container of alcohol in the vehicle is illegal. Moreover, a few states include marijuana under the open container laws.

Infringement of open container law

Generally, a person is guilty of violating the open container law if he/she owns an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle regardless of its consumption (obviously, consuming alcohol in the vehicle is also a violation of the law). Both the driver and the passengers are responsible for violating the law if any open container is inside the vehicle. Also, the vehicle does not need to be in motion for the infringement of the law. Whether the vehicle is in motion or parked, owning an open container of alcohol is a violation of the law.

A lot of states in the country have legalized the consumption of marijuana for either medicinal purposes or recreational activities. However, owning an open container of marijuana in the vehicle is still prohibited under some laws.

What is an open container?

It is very critical to be aware of all the things that are as an open container so that we can prevent the violation of open container law. The law varies for different states, but there are some basic points regarding the law that one needs to remember in every state of the country.

Possession of any drink with a broken seal that contains even the slightest volume of alcohol in the vehicle or a reduced volume of an alcoholic beverage is a violation of the open container law.

Who is responsible for the violation of the law?

Both the driver and the passenger have are equally responsible if an open container is in the vehicle and no one takes the responsibility of owning it. Sometimes, if the possession of the container is not clear, then every person who was present in the vehicle is responsible for violating the law.

Furthermore, certain states blame only the driver for the possession of any open containers of alcohol in the vehicle.

What parts of the vehicle can contain open containers of alcohol without violating the law?

The areas which are out of reach for both the passengers and the drivers can store open containers of alcohol and not violate the law. Generally, trunk areas of cars are safe options to carry open containers.

Penalties for violating the law

The different States of the country have different penalties for violating the law. Generally, a fine of $100 or even less is a penalty for violating the law. Even though certain states include imprisonment of the person found guilty but, imprisonment of the people is quite rare for the violation of the law. To avoid any such circumstances of facing a penalty regarding open containers, one needs to be aware of the details of the open container law.