Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is, quite simply, a terrible idea. Not only could you wind up with a license suspension, jail time, community service, probation, or fines, but you could also severely injure or kill yourself or another person when you choose to drive while inebriated.
Indiana is very strict in its laws regarding alcohol and the operation of a vehicle. So much so that the open container law was enacted in the hopes of minimizing the number of drunk driving incidents. Below, we discuss what the open container law states, and the penalties you could be facing if you drive with an unsealed alcoholic beverage.
What Counts As an Open Container in Indiana?
The open container law was designed to prevent drivers from operating their vehicles with an open bottle of alcohol in the car. This does not apply to passenger buses or motor homes. Drivers of every other type of motor vehicle, whether a tractor-trailer, truck, car, or boat are required to keep their vehicles free of open alcoholic beverage containers.
There are two exceptions to the rule: If the container is sealed; or if the open container is stored in a locked compartment, the vehicle’s trunk, or anywhere else that is inaccessible unless the vehicle is stopped. The open container law applies to any open alcoholic beverage, regardless of whether you or one of your passengers has consumed the alcohol.
Penalties for an Open Container
In Indiana, if you are found with an open container in your vehicle, you could be charged with a Class B infraction, which includes a maximum of 180 days in prison and fines of up to $1,000.
Passengers in a vehicle who are found to be in violation of the open container law will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a prison term of up to sixty days and fines maxing out at $500. A conviction for an open container charge is something you want to avoid at all costs, and our firm is ready to help.
Get Help from an Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer
You don’t have to let an open container charge impact your life negatively. There are a number of defensive strategies we can implement to combat your conviction.
Schedule your free case review with a qualified Indiana criminal defense lawyer at Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm by calling our office at 1-812-232-7400 or by completing the convenient contact form at the bottom of this page.