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What is Idaho’s Open Container Law?

beer bottle

The laws behind the transportation of alcohol differ from state to state. Don’t think it matters that others are drinking alcoholic beverages in your vehicle if you are driving and you aren’t? The state feels differently. These laws don’t just apply to inside your vehicle, either. The laws refer to public places such as parks, sidewalks, and beaches as well. 

The regulation of open containers of alcohol in public places is meant to limit public intoxication and driving under the influence (DUI). Not knowing what is considered an open container and where they are and are not allowed makes it difficult to defend your case if you’re accused of a crime. Trilogy Law Group’s defense lawyers are here to help you. 

What is Idaho’s Open Container Law?

The open container law prohibits both drivers and passengers from drinking or having an open can, bottle, or any container of alcohol in a vehicle. As a rule of thumb, any beverage requiring the buyer to be of legal age is involved. Any brand of beerany variation of wine, and liquor with an alcohol content of 4 percent or greater apply. 

If you have any opened or unsealed alcohol containers in your vehicle while driving, you will be penalized unless they’re in the trunk. There are even rules for the transportation of sealed containers. These need to be in the trunk of your vehicle or behind the last upright seat in your car, van, or truck if there’s no trunk. Even a locked glove compartment is not allowed. 

Any container that has alcohol in it where the lid is unsealed or broken counts. This means a flask, a re-corked bottle of wine, and empty or partially empty beer cans. This law does not apply to passengers in a vehicle designed for paid transportation such as a limousine, taxi, or bus, or one that includes living quarters such as a motor home or recreational vehicle (RV). 

Penalties for Open Container Violations

As with all criminal charges, the penalties vary based on the individual details of the violation. If you are suspected of a DUI and also found with open containers you may be facing two charges, making it even more important to seek legal counsel. 

In serious cases, you may be facing misdemeanor charges resulting in six months of jail time and a $1,000 fine. This will impact your record, your license, and car insurance rates, and will have additional consequences if paired with a DUI charge. Any passenger will be handed a citation totaling around one hundred dollars. 

Seek Help Against an Open Container Charge 

If you find yourself facing charges of being found with an open container in a place it shouldn’t have been, you need an experienced legal defense knowledgeable in the details of DUI law specific to your state. We will investigate each detail of your case and personalize your defense. 

Connect with the team at Trilogy Law Group, where we have extensive specialized experience and know all of the ins and outs of Idaho’s open container laws. Call us today at (208) 415-9943 or complete the online form below.