States are given the right to define their own “open container laws.” Although they are restricted to several federal laws, their methods of enforcement and the sentences that go along with conviction can differ greatly. Some states are more strict than others when it comes to transporting an open bottle of alcohol in the car.
Here are some of the more common ways states define an open alcoholic beverage:
- Any possession of an open bottle in a motor vehicle
- Open container in front seat, including glove box
- Beverages with over 3.2% BAC open in a motor vehicle
- Open containers on certain roads, such as highways
States may bend the rules when it comes to open beverages that come from restaurants. A $50 bottle of wine should not have to go to waste. Many restaurants are licensed to give permission to their customers to carry an open bottle purchased in a restaurant.
The punishments for violations also differ greatly from state to state. Typically first time offenders are gently fined for possession of an open container. In the state of Arizona, possessing an illegal open alcohol container can, at the maximum, result in an $800 fine. However, if the beverage is found while a person is driving while under the influence, the DUI sentence may be significantly raised.
A judge will typically look at all the reasons for arrest before deciding on a sentence. This can include the presence of an open container, the level of a driver’s intoxication, the reason for being pulled over, and the severity of any accident if any resulted.
Visit the website of the Arizona DUI defense attorneys of Thompson & Volquardsen, P.C., to learn more about defense against alcohol related charges.