Open Container Laws

Louisiana Open Container Law

In a state known for Mardi Gras and Creole festivals, Louisiana’s alcohol laws are surprisingly harsh and complicated. Penalties for drinking and driving are severe, but many individuals are unaware of the punishment for violations of Louisiana’s open container laws. Large fines, substance abuse training, community service and jail time of up to 6 months are all possible consequences. The criminal defense attorneys at McMillin Law understand the confusion and are ready to help you fight a violation.

What is Considered an Open Container?

In Louisiana, R.S. 32:300(B)(3)(a) defines an open container as a bottle, can or any other container with alcohol inside that has been opened or some liquid has been removed through another means, as in the case of a punctured beer can. As the one driving the car, you are in violation of Louisiana’s open container law if you or your passenger possesses an open container of alcohol in your car.

One exception to the law is if the alcohol is stored in a locked glove compartment, behind an upright seat that is out of reach or is in the trunk. Frozen drinks are handled a bit differently, but you still face punishment if the lid is off, some liquid is missing and/or a straw is in the container.

It is important to remember that you will still be charged for violating Louisiana’s open container laws if you have not had a sip of alcohol. All that matters is that a bottle, can or other container is open with alcohol inside. If a law enforcement agent suspects that you have been drinking, he or she may even look in non-alcoholic bottles, containers, and cups to see if there is alcohol inside.

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  • ACS Chemistry for Life
    ACS Chemistry for Life
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    Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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    Texas DWI Lawyers
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    Military Veterans Advocacy
  • National College for DUI Defense Member
    National College for DUI Defense Member
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    Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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    Wounded Warrior Project
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
    DUI Defense Lawyers Association

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