Everyone knows that drinking and driving is not a good mix. If you do choose to have a drink and drive later, you must be below a certain percentage of alcohol concentration. All 50 states have now set .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). For commercial drivers, a BAC of .04% can result in a DUI or DWI conviction nationwide. This is not the only law when it comes to booze and driving. A driver that has an open container is one of the most common alcohol-related offenses where the individual is not charged with a DUI/DWI.
Usually, when someone receives an open-container violation, they drove a motor vehicle. This individual drove on a public road. They kept a container held in his or her hand, had it within reach, or in a pocket or purse. This container would have still contained a certain amount of alcohol in it. Perhaps the seal on this container had been broken and some of the contents were removed.
If you are caught with an open- container, then the police will administer an alcohol test. If the officer rules out DUI/DWI, then an open-container violation will be used as another way to cite you. You could be charged with both potentially.
This container must be in the driver’s reach to be as proof of this violation. Even if the open containers are not in reach, the police officer may still cite the driver for a related offense.
Many states forbid driving with an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle. In a few states, it’s legal for a passenger to drink an alcoholic beverage while the vehicle is in motion. Every state forbids drivers from drinking any alcoholic beverage in a moving motor vehicle. To be convicted of drinking in a vehicle, the police don’t need to prove you were drunk. And, in at least some states, it isn’t necessary that the officer actually see you raise the bottle or can to your mouth and drink from it.
It is important to keep yourself aware of all of these laws in regards to alcohol consumption or even just possession to prevent yourself from getting a citation.
If you are in need of a criminal law expert, Palacios Law Group is here to help!