In defending Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges in Kansas it is not unusual to have a client also charged with Transporting an Open Container of Alcohol or 'TOC' in addition to the DUI charge itself. Here is a brief look at the Kansas Open Container law. Transportation of liquor or an 'Alcoholic Beverage' in an opened container (T.O.C.) is a misdemeanor in Kansas under K.S.A. 8-1599.
This law states that "No person shall transport in any vehicle upon a highway or street any alcoholic beverage unless such beverage is:"
- In the original unopened package or container, the seal of which has not been broken and from which the original cap, cork or other means of closure has not been removed;
- In the locked rear trunk or rear compartment, or any locked outside compartment which is not accessible to any person in the vehicle while it is in motion; or
- If a motor vehicle is not equipped with a trunk, behind the last upright seat or in an area not normally occupied by the driver or a passenger; or
- In the exclusive possession of a passenger in a vehicle which is a recreational vehicle, as defined by K.S.A. 75-1212, and amendments thereto, or a bus, as defined by K.S.A. 8-1406, and amendments thereto, who is not in the driving compartment of such vehicle or who is in a portion of such vehicle from which the driver is not directly accessible.
The Kansas Open Container Law imposes a maximum fine of $200.00 and / or a maximum of six months of jail time. A second or subsequent conviction for Transporting an Open Container includes mandatory penalties in addition to fines and potential imprisonment including a one-year mandatory suspension of your Kansas Driving Privileges.
If you are an out-of-state resident, The Kansas Department of Revenue is required to forward a copy of any conviction to the 'Motor Vehicle Administrator of such person's state of residence', which means that your home state may take additional action. Under K.S.A. 8-1599(h) it is an affirmative defense that an occupant of the vehicle other than the defendant was in "exclusive possession of the alcoholic liquor."
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