Open Container Attorney
Open Container Law Florida Facts
Open container laws differ from state to state, and since many Floridians are transplants from other states, it’s important that you are aware of Florida’s Open Container Laws before a night out on the town.
The Florida open container statue 316.1936 defines an open container as any alcoholic beverage that is immediately capable of being consumed, or the seal of the container has been broken.
The statute also states that “an open container shall be considered to be in the possession of the operator of a vehicle if the container is not in the possession of a passenger and is not located in a locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or other locked non-passenger area of the vehicle.”
An open container shall be considered to be in the possession of a passenger of a vehicle if the container is in the physical control of the passenger.
It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this section for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage or consume an alcoholic beverage while seated in or on a motor vehicle that is parked or stopped within a road as defined in this section. Notwithstanding the prohibition contained in this section, passengers in vehicles designed, maintained, and used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation and in motor homes are exempt.
Under Florida law, you can be ticketed or arrested for possessing an open container, either in a vehicle or in public. This means that both driver and passenger must abide by open container laws, or else they risk being ticketed or arrested for violation. To receive a ticket, you do not necessarily have to be intoxicated or under the influence. If a passenger is in physical possession of an open container, the passenger will be charged and the driver may also receive a ticket for the passenger who is in violation. Therefore, your best option is to place the containers locked in the trunk or the glove compartment until you arrive at your destination.
While a Florida open container violation is not a criminal violation it does happen to be a moving violation but only if you are being charged as the driver—meaning you will garner 3 points on your license for a conviction—you could also face significant increases in your insurance premiums if you choose to simply pay the fine and not fight your open container charges. Drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license should absolutely challenge charges of an open container violation in FL because a conviction for the offense could have a detrimental effect on your CDL license and, by extension, your livelihood.
If your only charge is an open container violation, you will have to pay a fine, however it is important to note that if an officer sees an open container in your vehicle, it is very likely he will consider the possibility that you are driving under the influence and may perform field sobriety tests or ask you to take a Breathalyzer test.
Open Container Ticket Fine
The maximum fine for an open container violation in Florida is $500.00 ONLY if it’s a non-moving violation. The Officer can make you take a Breathalyzer test and if you are arrested for DUI fines and consequences are far worse, this becomes a Criminal Traffic Violation and you will need and Attorney.
If you feel the open container ticket was issued in error, or just feel the ticket is unfair, you may fight it in court
Have The Experience Of A Former Assistant State Attorney
Mitchell Frank has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1987. He graduated the University of Miami School of Law in 1986 and received a Business Degree from the University of Miami in 1983. Experienced Fort Lauderdale Ticket Attorney Serving Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Davie, Pompano Beach, Weston, Deerfield Beach, Weston, Coral Springs, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Sunrise, Miami, Miami Beach, South Beach all of Broward County & Miami Dade County Call 1-800-980-5650 or if you prefer, use the quick form above and get a response within 24 hours – including weekends, holidays, and evenings!
Contact my office at: (954) 476-5650, (305) 222-8878 or (800) 980-5650 to speak to an attorney immediately or fill out the contact form located at the left side of the page and I will contact you. Either way, I will discuss your case with you and advise you of the cost to represent you. You can then come to my office or pay by credit card or check card over the phone. It’s that easy! No Bait and Switch