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Open Container Laws

It’s illegal in Ohio to carry an open container of alcohol in public. This is a common charge. Every day, someone gets ticketed for it. Many times, these tickets are given at football games, especially college and professional games. You’ll need the help of a Youngstown OVI lawyer if you ever find yourself arrested for an open container violation.

The Ohio Revised Code contains a definition of open container violations in Chapter 4301.62. It basically says you can’t carry around an open container of alcohol, though it does list some exceptions to the rule. This includes beer and any other liquor that consumption of leads to intoxication.

  • You can’t carry an open container of booze in a state liquor store.
  • You can’t hold on to a container of alcohol on the site of a place that has a permit received from the division of liquor control, except in certain circumstances.
  • You can’t carry alcohol in an open container while either driving or being a passenger in a moving motor vehicle on streets, highways, or parking lots, or anywhere else cars are allowed to travel or park, except in particular circumstances. This applies to private property as well as public.
  • You can’t hold alcohol that’s in an open container while you’re sitting in or on (or standing on) a parked vehicle on streets, highways, parking lots, or anywhere else cars can park or travel, with certain exceptions. This means not on public property or private property

As noted above, there are exceptions to this rule.

  • You can hold an open container of alcohol (beer, wine, mixed drinks, or other intoxicating liquor) if it was legally purchased to be consumed on the premises where it was purchased.
  • You can have an open container of booze if it is intended to be drunk during tastings and samplings.
  • You can carry alcohol in an open container in a convention center.
  • At music festivals occurring for at least three days on at least forty acres of land, you can carry an open container, if the permit holder allows you to.
  • You can possess open or unopened bottles of wine at outdoor performing arts centers, if you are attending the performance of an orchestra and you are allowed by the venue to do so.
  • You are allowed to be in possession of an open container if you are a limousine passenger who is not in the front seat with the driver.

In addition, you’re only allowed to carry bottles of alcohol that were opened and then resealed in the trunk of your car.

Open carry violation convictions are misdemeanor offenses in most cases. You’ll be fined as much as $150 but won’t have to serve any time in jail.

On the other hand, if you’re convicted of drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, your offense is considered to be a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. You’ll have to go to jail for up to 30 days or pay a fine of up to $250. You may have to do both.

Open container violations seem like one of the least important charges, but even minor infractions leave you with a criminal record. And, a criminal record can harm your life and your future, locking you out of jobs and promotions, or preventing you from finding your first one. It can also keep you out of the educational opportunities you want to pursue and prevent you from living in some rental apartments and houses. Your personal reputation will suffer, as well, and, worse of all, your criminal record will have a negative effect on your family.

Don’t let an open container violation mar your good name. Call Sean Logue at Logue Law Group for assistance. Sean and his colleagues know the law inside and out and have handled hundreds of cases involving open container laws, as well as DUI laws. Logue Law Group offers free initial consultations and reasonable rates. Call 1-844-PITT-DUI at any time of the day or night.

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