It's no secret that Texas takes its alcohol laws seriously. And while most people are familiar with the state's open container law, many don't know exactly what it entails.
DWI & Open Container Law in Texas
Under Texas law, it is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle. This includes the glove compartment, center console, or anywhere else that is within reach of the driver or passengers. The only exception to this rule is if the open container is stored in the trunk of the car.
If a driver is caught with an open container in their car, they will likely be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. Although a conviction will only result in a fine worth up to $500, it will also lead to a permanent criminal record.
However, if a driver is also charged with another offense related to alcohol, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), they may face more severe penalties.
For example, if a driver is caught with an open container and convicted of DWI, they may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car. This device prevents a driver from starting their vehicle if it detects alcohol on the driver’s breath. Therefore, if a driver is caught with an open container of alcohol in Texas, they should ensure they know their rights and understand the possible penalties.
Open container laws are important because they help keep people safe on the roads. If everyone had open containers of alcohol in their cars, there most likely would be significantly more drunk driving accidents in the Lonestar State. Open container laws are intended to deter people from drinking and driving and they also help to keep people who have been drinking off the roads.
Were You Charged With an Open Container Offense in Texas?
If you were charged with having an open container in your vehicle or any other DWI offense, the Texas criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jed Silverman are here to help. Our dedicated lawyers will help you understand your rights and the possible penalties for this type of charge.
Don’t let a DWI charge impact your personal and professional life. For more information about open container law in Texas, contact The Law Offices of Jed Silverman at (713) 597-2221!