Law of the Open Container

Can you carry an alcoholic drink in a beer mug of plastic while walking along the main street of your city? The answer depends on the laws of open container in your state and local community.

The laws of open container meets a number of objectives. In particular, the laws of open container looking for:

  • To maintain the quality of life of the residents and businesses of the community to prevent people from being drunk in public, in order to prevent behaviors that outrageous.
  • Prevent accidents of traffic with cars, buses and other motor vehicles to prohibit the consumption of alcohol to drivers and passengers.
  • Keep federal subsidies for the funding of construction of highways to the states. According to the federal laws, the states that lack laws open container will lose the federal subsidies of transport.

However, not all states or municipalities to ban drinking and carrying alcohol in public places, such as sidewalks and parks of the city. For example, some of the tourist destinations featured, as well as Las Vegas and New Orleans, do not have laws on open containers.

Law open container: what are they?

A law of the open container restricts the places in which people can drink alcohol in public. Exactly what constitutes a public place depends on the laws of the state or the city, and how the courts have interpreted these laws.

In function of particular laws and of the judicial resolutions, the violation of the laws of open container can occur when one drinks or have an open container of alcohol while you are:

  • in a public sidewalk;
  • inside your own parked car;
  • on the steps of the entrance or in the common corridor of his building;
  • on school property;
  • in a motor home;
  • in a residential district;
  • in a parking lot.

The laws of open container are designed to protect communities by reducing injuries caused by drunk drivers (driving under the influence of substances or intoxicated) and the conduct outrageous.

The Congress approved the Law of Equality in Transportation for the TWENTY-first Century (TEA-21) in 1998 to give states an economic incentive to restrict the beverage in motor vehicles. States that do not enact laws open container will lose a portion of federal funds for construction of roads.

Exceptions to the law of the open container

Currently, only seven (7) states do not have laws for open container, which prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public.

The city of New Orleans lacks the strict laws of open container, but it does require that people who drink alcohol on sidewalks and streets only do so in plastic cups. This destination is known for the Mardi Gras also prohibits the consumption of alcohol in a parking lot. In the same way, the city of Las Vegas allows for the consumption of alcohol in public, a glass container, in almost all holidays, such as New Year and Independence Day.

The main reason that some places do not have laws for open container is to promote tourism and encourage tourists to support local businesses by drinking in bars, restaurants, hotels and districts specific, such as the French Quarter of New Orleans and The Vegas Strip.

However, you must remember that the cities that do not have laws of open container comply with other standards of quality of life, such as laws that prohibit:

  • urinating in public;
  • disturbances of the public order (disorderly conduct);
  • behaviors altered (behavior rebellious or destructive);
  • fights with the police;
  • driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI/DWI). If it has been intoxicated while drinking legally according to a law of the open container, do not drive.

Contesting citations under the law of the open container – Your legal rights

If you or a loved one are accused of violating the law of the open container, they may be able to defend themselves, and to object to the indictment before a court.

It is very important that you contact a lawyer or specializing in cases of driving under the influence of substances, to know how it can help you or your family.

These are some of the statutory factors that a lawyer specializing in the law of the open container may review them with you:

  • if you or your loved ones, given the particular facts of your case, actually violated the law, local or state;
  • if the police force that arrested you comply with the law;
  • if your conduct was or is not a criminal violation.

Law open container – Get legal help

  • Know how a lawyer specializing in cases of driving under the influence of substances or a lawyer can help you in causes for violation of the law of the open container.
  • To find a lawyer, use the tool “Find a lawyer” on this page, or click here.