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What are open container charges?

Many people might not realize that you can face criminal charges for having open containers of alcohol in a vehicle. If you are found to have an open container in the vehicle and have an alcohol odor on your breath, you will likely end up facing criminal charges. It is crucial that you understand some basic points about open container laws.

Are open container laws only applicable to containers in vehicles?

No, open container laws can also apply to people who are walking on the sidewalks or who are out in public with an open container of alcohol. While there are some places that allow open containers for pedestrians, many places have laws against this type of behavior.

What is the purpose of open container laws?

When a state has open container laws on the books. they are working to keep motorists safe. If a state doesn't have an open container law, that state is at risk of losing federal transportation subsidies. These laws are also meant to maintain a suitable quality of life for citizens and other people in the area.

Are there defenses against open container law violations?

It is possible to offer a defense against these charges. When you are considering the options that you have, you must consider the circumstances at the time of the incident. What were you doing? How did the law enforcement officer react? Were any of your rights violated? All of these questions might lead you to something that you could use in your defense against the open container charge that you are facing.

Source: FindLaw, "Open Container Law," accessed March 04, 2016

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