Can you be fined for having an open liquor bottle in your car?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2020 | DUI

Typically, if you’re charged with a DUI in Georgia, the officer had reason to suspect that you were driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. However, many drivers don’t realize that you can be ticketed just for having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle. Known as the “open container” law, a violation of this law comes with hefty fines.

What is the “open container” law?

If you get pulled over for a suspected DUI or another reason, you might get another fine added to your charges if you have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle. Even if you weren’t drinking from the container, it’s still illegal under the “open container” law. This applies to any container that’s been opened or has a broken seal or is missing some of the contents.

What if your friend left the bottle in your vehicle by mistake? If you’re alone in the car, you’ll still be fined for having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle. Under the law, the officer must assume that you’re responsible for the container and therefore in possession of it.

If you’re caught with an open container of alcohol, you might have to pay a fine of $200 or less. As a result, it’s important to remove all containers from your vehicle before you get on the road. You can only transport containers of alcohol if they haven’t been opened and don’t have any of the contents missing. Otherwise, it’s easy for the police to assume that you’ve been drinking and driving.

Can an attorney help you if you’ve received a DUI charge?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you might assume that it’s an open-and-shut case. However, an attorney might be able to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether. During the arrest, law enforcement might have obtained evidence illegally or committed a technical violation. Additionally, an attorney might be able to challenge the results of the breathalyzer test. No case is guaranteed to win or lose, and when you work with an attorney, you might be able to get your life back on track.

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