In the state of California, it is illegal to drive with any open container of alcohol in the vehicle. It is also illegal for any passengers in the vehicle to have an open container of alcohol while the vehicle is being operated. Open containers of alcohol must never be within the reach of the driver or passengers of a vehicle while operating the vehicle.
If a driver is pulled over or involved in a car accident with open containers of alcohol in his or her vehicle, the driver will receive a citation for the open container. If it is the passenger that has an open container of alcohol, both the driver and the passenger will be cited for the offense. “The punishment for violating California’s open container law is a $250 fine levied on both the driver and the passenger.”
It is not illegal to drive with alcohol in the vehicle in the state of California, as long as the alcohol containers have never been opened. If you do have containers of alcohol that were opened that you need to transport, you will need to reseal the containers and put them in your trunk or the very back of a vehicle that does not have a trunk to avoid receiving a citation for violating the open container laws.
Even if you are transporting empty containers of alcohol for recycle or disposal, you need to make sure that these empty containers are out of the reach of the driver and the passengers. Again, they need to be transported in the trunk or the very back of your vehicle in order to ensure avoidance of an open container violation.
If you or someone you know suffered a serious injury in a car accident with a driver who had open containers in the vehicle, please contact Alexander Law Group, LLP immediately to discuss your rights. Call 888.777.1776 right now, for a free, confidential, and personal consultation with one of our attorneys or contact us online.