Transporting Alcohol In Your Vehicle - What’s The Law?

Oct 21, 16 by Jorian Goes

Transporting Alcohol In Your Vehicle - What’s The Law?

Ticket Snipers helps California drivers understand the laws of the road and beat traffic tickets.

Today, we’re looking at open alcohol containers. What happens when you go out to dinner, buy a nice bottle of wine and you’d like to take the rest of it home?

Perhaps you are visiting with close friends and they give you a bottle of fine whiskey. Everyone has a taste during your time together and now it is time to leave. How can you safely and legally transport opened alcohol from one destination to the next?

Know The Law And Follow It

By law,you need to store open alcohol containers “in the trunk of the vehicle or in a place where passengers do not sit.” If there is any way for someone to access the alcohol from within the seating area, it is considered “illegal” especially in the glove compartment. That is a No-No. The “trunk” also includes the bed of a truck. The whole point is that it must not be accessible to the driver or passengers.

Empty Containers

What if you are transporting empty beer cans to be recycled? In this case, the trunk is still the safest bet. If your breath is clear of alcohol and the cans are totally empty and tied up in a bag with other empty cans (possibly soda), then it is highly unlikely that any trouble will come from it. Technically, a police officer could write a ticket but it would never hold up in court. So they wouldn’t waste their time. Besides, police officers aren’t looking to give out tickets just for the sake of it.Their mission is to keep the roads safe for all drivers.

There’s No Such Thing As “Too Safe”

Same thing applies to a cardboard 12-pack that has been torn open with a few cans missing. If you’ve got space in your trunk, put the box back there. Otherwise, just drive safely, and if you get pulled over, explain the situation calmly. The officer is likely to understand your case.

If you need to transport an open container of alcohol, just make sure it is kept out of reach of all the occupants in the vehicle. This is the best way to steer clear of a hefty fine or having a mark on your record. If for some reason you got a ticket for an open container, find out how Ticket Snipers can help you.