Many states, including Florida, have what what are known as open container laws. These laws typically prohibit having open containers that contain, or once contained, alcoholic beverages. Different Florida counties or municipalities may adopt an ordinance that imposes more stringent restrictions on the possession of alcoholic beverages, such as on beaches or public property, but the state prohibits open containers in vehicles. Here is a brief overview of what you need to know about Florida’s open container laws:
Open Container Laws in Florida
In Florida, the open container statute, 316.1936, prohibits anyone from possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle. Under the statute, an “open container” refers to any container of alcohol that is “immediately capable of being consumed from, or the seal of which has been broken.” Even if you have an empty beer bottle in your car, if you are pulled over the drink would be considered an open container and is therefore illegal to possess in a moving vehicle.
Who Is at Fault?
In the state of Florida, if a passenger is drinking an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, then the open container law has been violated. Unfortunately, this violation can affect more than the individual drinking the beverage. Even if the driver is sober and is not consuming any of the alcohol, he or she may still be held partially responsible and could get a ticket or have to perform a field sobriety test. The charges for an open container violation vary, but can ultimately lead to steep fines of up to $500, points on your license, and potential jail time depending on where you are pulled over.
Call the Attorneys at the Khonsari Law Group
If you are facing an open container violation, you may be facing serious charges including fines, points on your license, and possible jail time. The attorneys at the Khonsari Law Group can help you and guide you through this stressful event. To learn more about our practice you can contact us or schedule a free consultation.