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Open Container Laws

Definition - What does Open Container Laws mean?

Open container laws refer to the rules regulating open alcohol receptacles in vehicles or public places. The open container laws in most states prohibit individuals from driving a motor vehicle while in possession of a can, bottle, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that has been opened, has a broken seal, or has partially removed contents.

Justipedia explains Open Container Laws

Most states have enacted laws prohibiting the presence of open alcohol containers in public places or in vehicles in order to prevent the consequences of alcohol intoxication such as traffic fatalities, public nuisance, and wrongful conduct. These open container laws and the penalties for breaking them vary from state to state. All but 11 states have banned open alcoholic containers in motor vehicles. Although a violation of open container laws in a vehicle is a minor offense compared to DUI, an individual can face enhanced charges if he or she is stopped for DUI and an open container is found in their vehicle.

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