4 FAQs about Florida’s Open Container Law
While an open bottle of juice, travel mug of coffee, or can of soda is fair game, driving with an open container of alcohol in your car can quickly land you in hot water. Even if that container belongs to a passenger, you—as a driver—could still be cited for the offense, leaving you on the hook for hefty fines, a lengthy license suspension, and other strict penalties.
If you were ticketed for violating Florida’s open container laws, it’s likely you have a few questions about the citation. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most common FAQs, and explain how a DUI attorney may be able to help you get these penalties reduced.
1. What Is Florida’s Open Container Law?
In Florida, you are not allowed to operate or travel in a vehicle with an open container of alcohol present inside. An open container can include bottles, cans, or any other type of container where the seal has been broken or the substance inside can be readily consumed. Violating these laws is considered a non-moving traffic violation and will result in a fine.
2. Can I Drink Alcohol in a Lyft or an Uber?
No. It is illegal to consume alcohol while making use of a rideshare service. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, in certain types of commercial vehicles such as limousines, passengers are allowed to possess open containers and drink alcohol.
3. Can I Drink in My Car on Private Property?
Yes. However, you will need to make sure you are actually on private property. For instance, if you are parked on the road or next to a public street—i.e., on the sidewalk—it is illegal to drink or have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle.
4. What Is the Penalty for Having an Open Container in My Vehicle?
If you are stopped and police discover an open container in your vehicle, you could be fined up to $1,000. In some situations, your license may be suspended for up to six months. Additionally, you might also be required to appear in court. Keep in mind that if you are arrested for driving under the influence and police discover an open container in your vehicle, you may be cited for this violation in addition to being charged with a DUI.
However, depending on the nature of your case, you may be able to have your penalties reduced or charges dropped. A criminal defense attorney can assess your situation, investigate what happened, and help defend your rights.
Discuss Your Situation with a DUI Attorney in Port St. Lucie, Florida
If you were cited for an open container violation or arrested for driving under the influence, it might be in your best interests to speak to a DUI attorney. Todd A. Kawecki has many years of experience and a track record of success handling criminal cases throughout Florida.
He offers free consultations, so you won’t have to pay a cent to get the answers you need to make informed decisions about your case. Reach out to us at 772-485-4500 or click through to our contact form HERE to request a case review.