In many states across the nation, being sober while operating a vehicle does not necessarily protect you from receiving an alcohol-related ticket. Every state except Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia has instituted what are known as “open container laws,” which prohibit citizens from possessing or drinking from open alcohol containers in public areas (including roads). Open container laws prohibit individuals from having an open alcohol container in their vehicles if they are in any public space.
Washington Open Container Law
The state of Washington does have an open container law in place, prohibiting drivers and their passengers from not only consuming alcohol while in the vehicle, but also from having an open alcohol container present. This includes bottles or cans with broken seals, or containers from which alcohol has already partially been removed (unless it is closed and in the trunk). Examples of beverages that fall under the open container law include beer, wine, wine coolers, spirits, and liquor.
Open container laws are not federally enforced, so they may vary from state to state. Violators of this law in Washington may experience serious penalties for their infringement of the law, including fines and mandatory jail time. Depending on the jurisdiction, these punishments may vary in severity.
If you would like to learn more about Washington open container laws, contact the Seattle DUI defense lawyers of The Cowan Kirk Law Firm today at 1-866-822-1230 to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.