Drinking and driving kills so many people every year in America that all states have laws to deter drunk driving.Open container is one such law. In the state of Colorado, open container laws make it illegal to knowingly consume or possess an open container of alcohol in your vehicle while on public roads. However, the law is complex and there are some exceptions.
Here is some more detailed information about open container laws in Colorado:
- Vehicles. The law applies to all motor vehicles meant for public roads and can be applied even if a vehicle is not moving. That means drinking or having alcohol in a car that is parked on a public road can get you in trouble.
- What is an open container? A container is considered to be “open” if it has a broken seal, was clearly opened or the contents are partially gone.
- The passenger. The law applies to passengers as well, and no passenger can knowingly possess or have access to an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.
- Exceptions. Some moving vehicles, such as limousines, are permitted to have alcohol in the back of the vehicle as long as it is not accessible to the driver.
- Is there anywhere I keep alcohol in my car? Yes. The trunk or space behind the last seat in vehicles that do not have trunks is the best place to put open or closed containers of alcohol when driving.
- Marijuana. Open container laws apply to marijuana as well in Colorado. A marijuana container is considered “open” if it has a broken seal, missing contents or there’s evidence marijuana has been consumed.
So how harsh are the penalties?
Open container violations are considered traffic infractions and are punished with a $50 fine and surcharge of $16. The penalties are more serious for people under 21, who can be charged with a petty offense, a criminal matter. Also, it’s worth noting that if the driver was intoxicated, they will be charged with DUI, a much more serious charge in the state of Colorado. If you have been charged with an open container violation or DUI in Colorado, contact an experienced Adams County DUI attorney for help.
When you or a loved one is being charged with DUI in Colorado, it is important you have legal representation. The penalties against DUI in Colorado are some of the harshest in the country and if convicted you will face heavy fines, the loss of your license and in some cases even jail time.
Contact a DUI attorney in Colorado
At the Law Office of John Anderson, we have years of experience helping our clients fight DUI charges. For an initial consultation, give us a ring today at (303) 880-7994 or contact us online.