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The open container law in Georgia

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Criminal Defense

If you are caught driving with an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area on the roadway or shoulder of any public highway, you may face a charge in Georgia. 

This is the open container law. Here is what it entails:

What is an open alcoholic beverage container?

Any can, bottle or any other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage that is open or has a broken seal or the contents have been partially removed is considered an open alcoholic beverage container.

Who is excluded from this law?

A driver who keeps an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the trunk or any area not occupied by a passenger or not easily accessible by the driver or a passenger while seated may be protected from the open container law.

Anyone carrying a resealed bottle of wine may also be excluded from this law. The bottle should have been resealed by the licensee or its employees before removal from the premises in question. The resealed bottle should then be placed in a bag or other container secured in such a manner that it is visibly apparent if the container has been subsequently opened or tampered with. The bag is to be put in a locked glove compartment, a locked trunk, or the area behind the last upright seat if a car is not equipped with a trunk.

Additionally, this law may not apply to passengers in the passenger area of a car designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation or those in the living quarters of a motor home or house trailer.

If you are charged with violating the open container law, you need to obtain adequate information to avoid potential penalties.