Alabama Open Container Laws

Alabama Open Container Laws
Did you know that you may face serious consequences if you are found with an open container of alcohol in your vehicle? Alabama Open Container laws make it a crime to have open containers of alcohol, wine, or spirits in your vehicle in reach of the driver or passengers; rather, open container must be transported in the trunk of the vehicle. If you have been charged with violating this law, you should enlist the help of an experienced Alabama DUI defense attorney.

If this is your first open container offense, and there are no serious circumstances surrounding your case, you may get off with only a fine. You may even be charged even if your passenger had an open container, and you weren’t drinking. However, if you are later charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you may face serious penalties. The open container may even be used by the prosecution as proof of your guilt.

While there is no federal law regarding open containers, the federal government has influenced states to pass these laws. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) laid out the guidelines for open container laws. In order to receive additional highway funding from the federal government, states were required to follow these guidelines. States that chose not to enact open container laws had a portion of their highway funding reallocated to alcohol education programs.

Possessing an open container in public is also a crime in many areas. This means that you may be ticketed for walking down the street with a bottle of beer or glass of wine in areas where open containers are illegal.

Any container that can be used to hold alcohol, such as bottles, cans, cups, or jars, is considered open container. If you are driving on a public roadway, or are pulled over to the side of a roadway, with an open container, you may be charged with violating the law.

If you have questions about Alabama open container laws, or are facing a pending DUI case, contact the legal team at The Whitney B. Polson DUI Defense Office. They will ensure your rights are protected during this time and help you fight your charges.


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