PA Open Container Law
Enjoying a few drinks while at a restaurant or bar is never illegal, unless you’re a minor, that is. However, when a person indulges in too much alcohol, it is expected that the individual finds a means of getting home that does not include driving themself.
When caught, a DUI is a serious offense that is punishable by law. This is common knowledge no matter where you are on earth, but most people often overlook the existence of the Pennsylvania open container law.
The Open Container Law
Under the PA open container law, possession of an open container of alcohol while on the roadway is considered illegal. Both driver and passenger caught violating this law may be cited for violations.
Even passengers could get charged with DUI convictions and face severe penalties such as probation, jail time, and license suspension.
This applies to whether the vehicle is in motion or stationary. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages or any controlled substances are subject to severe punishments.
Essentially, the open container laws by state exist in an effort to deter motorists from driving while under the influence of alcohol.
I’m Not Driving, and I’m Not Drunk!
The Open Container Law specifies that it does not matter whether an individual is intoxicated or not. As long as there is open alcohol in the car, you can be found in violation of the law.
Why Am I Getting Punished When I Am Over 21 Years of Age?
Being of legal age has no bearing when it comes to the open container law in PA. Anyone found consuming alcohol and illegal substances as a passenger can be charged for violating this law.
The Consequences of Violating the Open Container Law
When convicted of violating the open container law, the summary offense comes with a $300 fine and a jail time of up to 90 days.
The ramifications for violating the Pennsylvania drinking laws include the loss of a driver’s license and increased insurance premiums. More importantly, those with an existing criminal record can have heftier penalties for this conviction.
Getting Your Conviction Dropped
An arrest does not equate to guilt. Always remember that a person is innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. If you’ve been accused of breaking the law, then you have every right to defend yourself from these unwarranted charges.
The best way to prove innocence is to hire the services of a lawyer who has some experience in dealing with a Pennsylvania open container law charge.
Although it does not guarantee a “get out of jail free” card, having legal counsel can help point out the lack of probable cause, a lack of control or dominion in the vehicle, etc.
Arguing innocence can be tricky, especially under this law. The best defenses to avoid circumstances where you can be caught inside a vehicle with an open container of alcohol.
Contact Panighetti Law
At Panighetti Law, we pride ourselves on our depth of experience in handling a variety of cases, from DUI cases, criminal defense, to theft cases. Our skilled attorneys work tirelessly to attain the maximum compensation our clients need in the difficult times in which they are the most vulnerable. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.