Details of Open Container Laws in Texas

Kelly McMahan Law covers a wide range of class C misdemeanors. Even though she is known for her Austin traffic ticket defenses, she is capable of helping clients with cases like minor in consumption, assault, driving without a seat belt, disorderly conduct, and open container.

Now, most of these cases seem very straightforward, such as an open container in a vehicle. Texas’s open container law prohibits an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. That is the general description of the law, but there are further details many people do not know.

Important Details

Car driver holding a bottle of beer

In general, the open container law prohibits an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. However, there is more to this law. A car that is located on a public highway may not have an open container regardless of it moving, stopped, or parked. If there are multiple open containers, there is only one offense. However, there could be other offenses that could apply, such as minor in possession, minor on consumption, or a DWI.

The open container must be in the “passenger area of a motor vehicle,” which is where the driver and passenger sit in the car. Below, you can see all the places in which open container does not apply.

  • A locked glove bock or another locked compartment
  • The trunk of the vehicle
  • Or, the area behind the las upright seats

The state of Texas does exclude some passengers from specific types of vehicles. Vehicles such as buses, taxis, and limousines are excluded from this law. The law states that the passenger area of a motor vehicle used for transportation for compensation is excluded. Furthermore, the living space of a motor home, a self-contained camper, or another type of an RV are also outside of this law.

Kelly McMahan Will Defend You

The penalty for an open container offense is a maximum fine of $500. Open container offenses are only class C misdemeanors, which make them lowly criminal offenses. That said, these records can appear on a background check and ruin a job prospect. Kelly McMahan Law can help clients expunge their record or defend their case. Give her law firm a call today at (512) 843-2889 to obtain a class C misdemeanor lawyer.