When most people think of vehicles and alcohol-related crimes, they think of driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges. However, there are other vehicle and alcohol-related offenses, including today’s topic: Texas’ open container laws.
Open Container Law Texas
In the state of Texas, open container laws are statutes that prohibit people from drinking alcohol while in certain motor vehicles. An open container is defined as any receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage that is open or has been opened.
Therefore, a previously opened bottle of wine could be cause enough for an open container arrest, even if it has a cork in it.
However, people need to transport previously opened alcohol, which means there are limitations to open container laws.
Open containers can travel in the following areas of a car:
- Glove compartments or similar storage containers that are locked;
- Trunks of vehicles;
- Areas behind the last upright seats of vehicles, if vehicles don’t have trunks.
Open containers can also travel in the following:
- Passenger areas of motor vehicles designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, including buses, taxis, or limousines.
- Living quarters of a motorized house coach or motorized house trailer, including self-contained campers, motor homes, or recreational vehicles.
It’s important to note that police can charge people for breaking open container laws even if they are parked. Therefore, actively driving a vehicle is not a necessary part of an open container charge.
Facing Charges in Texas for Having an Open Container?
If you or a loved one has been accused of breaking Texas’ open container laws, you can defend your case. Smith & Vinson Law Firm offers criminal defense representation for those who are facing criminal charges. If you’re ready to protect your future with an aggressive defense, we’re ready to help.
Call (512) 359-3743 now for a free consultation for your open container case.