Open Container Violations

This page is dedicated to explaining the facts behind an open container violation, the punishment associated with that charge, and how an open container attorney can help you or your child fight against an open container violation case.

What is an open container violation?

Open container laws limit where people can drink alcoholic beverages in a public place. What is defined as a public place is usually dependent on the city or state you reside in and how the state and city laws categorize as a “public place.” So depending on the local or state laws, violation of open container laws could occur when you drink in the following places:

  • Inside your car
  • In a public park
  • In a national monument
  • On the front steps or in the common hallway of your apartment building
  • On school property
  • In a mobile home
  • In a residential neighborhood
  • In a parking lot
  • On a public sidewalk

Do all cities and states have open container laws?

No. Currently, only seven states do not have open container laws. These states are Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri, and Arkansas. Some cities also do not have open container laws. The more famous of these include New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Key West. However, even though these states and cities do not have open container laws, they do have other laws and restrictions limiting people’s ability to drink in public places. For example, the city of New Orleans lacks strict open container laws, but it does require people who drink alcohol on sidewalks and streets to do so only from plastic cups. Similarly, the city of Las Vegas permits public consumption of alcohol from a glass container on all but a few holidays, like New Year’s Eve and July 4th.

What are the punishments for open container violations?

An open container violation is a civil violation and is usually punishable by fines. However, some states have made it a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of less than 6 month for repeat violators. Although the punishments are different from state to state, following are some the more common penalties associated with open container violations:

  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Probation
  • Fines ranging from $50 to $1000 dollars
  • Community Service
  • Compulsory enrollment in a substance abuse class
  • Imprisonment of no longer than 6 month

I have been charged with an open container violation, how can an open container attorney help me?

If you are facing legal charges for violating open container laws, a trained open container attorney may help you fight and defend your rights in court. It is very important that you contact an open container attorney to learn how they may be able to help you or your family.

An open container attorney can help determine the following elements which will affect the outcome of your case:

  • Whether you, given the particular facts of your case, actually violated city or state law
  • Whether the arresting police or law enforcement officer followed the law

Complete the form on the right hand side to have local open container attorneys call you directly. The form is quick and easy to complete and an attorneys will contact you at no cost or obligation.