Picture this: As the evening’s designated driver, you are driving a group of friends home when you run into a DUI roadblock. Your friends are not only drunk, but they are also having cans of beer in the car. But since you have not been drinking, you are confident nothing can go wrong.
While you may be sober behind the wheel, having an open container of alcoholic beverage in the car can actually get you and your passengers in trouble with the law. This is because of something known as the “Open Container” law.
So what exactly is Georgia’s “Open Container” law?
Basically, a bottle, can or any receptacle that holds any amount of alcohol is considered an “open container” when:
- It is opened
- Its seal is broken, or
- Its content is partially removed
While violation of the “Open Container” law may not be a serious criminal offense, a conviction may still result in a fine as well as points on your driver’s record. And if the police find traces of alcohol in your system, they may use the existence of alcohol in the vehicle as evidence against you in court.
Exceptions to the “Open Container” laws
There are a few exceptions to Georgia’s “Open Container” laws. Here are some of them:
- If the vehicle you were driving at the time of the stop is designated for alcohol transportation
- If the open container had no traces of alcohol – you cannot be prosecuted for transporting an empty crate of beer in your car.
Safeguarding your interests
Learning more about Georgia DUI laws can help you protect your rights and interests if you are accused of violating Georgia’s “Open Container” law.