Open container laws act as a way for the state to maintain the quality of life for their residents, prevent public drunken and disorderly behaviors, and try to reduce the number of vehicular accidents caused by drunk drivers and passengers. Several South Carolina statutes outline the state’s open container laws. For example, it is illegal to possess an open container of beer or wine in any motor vehicle driving upon public highways or highway right of ways, unless the container is located in the trunk or luggage compartment of the vehicle. However, it is legal for a person age 21 or older to transport a closed container of alcohol, or an open container that is carried in the trunk or luggage compartment of the vehicle. These laws apply to alcoholic beverages, regardless of the percentage of alcohol per volume the beverage contains.
Because of miscommunications and complicated circumstances, it is common for people to face open container charges they are not guilty of committing. Having an experienced DUI lawyer on your side could prove useful in combatting these allegations, reducing consequences, or even getting the charges dropped completely. At Truslow & Truslow, we have experience defending open container cases, and we are dedicated to building a strong legal plan on behalf of our clients.
An open container conviction carries with it some serious penalties and repercussions. If an officer pulls you over and sees what they claim is an open container, the ensuing consequences could include the following:
It is also important to highlight that that these laws make it illegal for passengers to have open containers. If a passenger is sipping or even holding an open alcoholic beverage, it could mean problems for both the passenger and the driver. Imagine you are going out for a night of fun with your friends. You agree to be the designated driver to ensure everyone gets home safe. You are aware of the open container laws in South Carolina, but a backseat passenger is not, and they open a beer to start drinking without you noticing. If you are pulled over, you as the driver with an open container in the vehicle could be ticketed with an open container violation.
If you or a loved one was ticketed for an open container charge, contact a qualified Columbia open container charge attorney. At Truslow & Truslow, we know how frustrating it can be to have a ticket of this kind on your record inhibiting you financially. Our attorneys can guide you through the complicated legal process and fight for justice in the courtroom. Contact our office at (803) 256-6276 to discuss the details of your case.
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