Open Container Violations
Fighting Your Open Container Charges in Kansas City
According to the law no person or passenger is allowed to have any type of alcoholic beverage opened in their vehicle while driving on a public road or highway. Even if the seal was broken or the contents were partially removed from previous drinking affairs, you can still be cited. It is important that you understand the laws surrounding open containers in vehicles and know how to protect your rights in these situations.
If you are not driving under the influence, an officer will most likely resort to issuing you an open container violation. To do so, they must be able to connect the open alcohol container with you, the driver. In some cases, the officer will only issue a violation if the container is in the driver's reach. However, they can still cite you for having any type of open container in the vehicle even if it is in the back of the car.
Is Open Container a DUI in Kansas?
Merely having an open container in the vehicle doesn't automatically mean you are being charged with a DUI. Driving under the influence refers to operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired. An open container of alcohol in a vehicle is a separate offense.
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs would be considered DUI, which carries a set of penalties. The presence of an open container of alcohol could potentially be used as evidence to support a DUI charge, as it would suggest that you were drinking while driving.
It's important to consult with a drunk driving lawyer in Kansas who can provide you with accurate and up-to-date information about the state's laws and how they apply to your specific situation. Getting legal advice from a qualified attorney is the best way to understand your rights and potential consequences.
How will an open container violation affect me?
Though being issued a violation for an open container is not as serious as being charged with DUI in Missouri or Kansas, it can still lead to major consequences. Your license status may be in question, especially if you have previous citations or tickets. Additionally, your insurance rates may go up for having a citation issued against you.
To prove an open container violation, an officer must be able to testify that:
- The vehicle was in motion
- You were driving on a public road or highway (private roads or parking lots are not included)
- The container was opened, a seal broken, or contains previously removed
- You had the container on your person (in your hand or within reach)
- The container held any amount alcohol in it, odor is not enough proof
In some cases, an officer may try to issue a citation on a weak basis, meaning that you can fight this violation and have any citation against you dropped or removed.
Do you believe you were wrongfully accused of having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle and want to fight your citation? Contact our Kansas City DUI defense lawyer, Charles R. Green to get started today.
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