An open container violation occurs when a person possesses an alcoholic beverage that is in an open container, such as a cup. The person caught with the open container of alcohol is in the passenger area of a moving vehicle. In some jurisdictions, the passenger area includes glove compartments and consoles.
Why Was I Charged with an Open Container Violation in Texas?
Texas has a law prohibiting open containers in vehicles. The law is called possession of alcoholic beverage in motor vehicle. A person can be charged with this crime if they knowingly possess an open container of alcohol in a passenger area of a motor vehicle traveling on a public highway.
Does It Matter If the Vehicle Is Parked?
No. A person can be charged with possessing an open container of alcohol while in a moving vehicle when the car is:
- Stopped; OR
- In motion
How Does Texas Define “Open Container”?
The term “open container” applies to any alcoholic beverage in a:
- Other container that is open, has been opened, has alcoholic contents partially moved, or has a broken seal
Can I Be Charged the Open Container Was in the Glove Compartment?
No. According to Texas state law, a passenger area is only the area of the vehicle deigned for passengers to seat in the vehicle. It does not include:
- The vehicle’s trunk
- Glove compartment
- Vehicle’s storage area
- Behind the last upright seat of the vehicle
What Is the Punishment for Possessing an Open Container in Texas?
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Charge?
A violation of an open container law can lead to not only a serious fine, but also to a criminal record involving alcohol-related convictions. Contact a Texas crimanal lawyer immediately to avoid a lot of the long-term consequences of an alcohol crime.