Open Container Violations
Fighting Your 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.
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.
If you believe you were wrongfully accused of having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle and want to fight your citation, contact the Kansas City DUI defense lawyer, Charles R. Green.
Numerous case dismissals and "not guilty" verdicts.
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Over 20 years of experience dedicated to criminal law.