What Happens if I am Charged with an Orange County Open Container in a Moving Vehicle?
California Vehicle Code § 23222 makes it illegal for any person to have in his or her possession, while operating a motor vehicle, any bottle, can, or receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage. This includes any alcohol container which has a seal that is fully or partially broken, and which has its contents partially removed. Additionally the container may not be easily accessible by the driver.
California follows the Federal rules and allows for an exception to open containers in a moving vehicle. If a vehicle’s primary purpose is to provide transportation for compensation, then the passengers are permitted to have open containers of alcohol. The vehicles that fall under this exception include limousines, taxi cabs, and buses. It is important to distinguish between public buses and those hired privately for the sole purpose of transport. Having an open container on a public bus can result in a public intoxication or disturbing the peace charges.
If an open container is in a parked car, an argument can be made that the occupant had been driving with an open container, or even a public intoxication charge. Oftentimes the potential consequences can be a misdemeanor depending on the specific facts of the case. A misdemeanor may also be added as an additional offense to something more serious such as driving under the influence (DUI). In cases where driving with an Orange County open container is an additional charge, the penalty may be something more severe than the charge on its own.
An experienced Criminal Defense attorney can prepare a powerful defense to either have an Orange County open container charge dropped or reduced. If you are being charged with other violations, having such a charge dismissed may help to greatly reduce the potential consequences you may face.
To learn more about this topic and DUI’s in general visit the http://www.orangecounty-dui-law.com/blog/ or call one of our attorneys at 888-652-5529.
To learn more about this issue or other areas of law visit the Core Law Group blog or call one of our attorneys at 949-505-2479.