Columbia Open Container Charge Lawyer

It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of a party. Whether you are tailgating for your favorite football team or celebrating a significant life event, you may find yourself in a situation where alcohol is out in the open.

Unfortunately, carrying an open container of beer or liquor can land you in serious trouble. If you are accused of carrying an open container in Columbia or the surrounding cities, it is best to consult with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A Columbia open container charge lawyer could break down your charge and work with you to build a strong defense.

Open Container Laws in Columbia

South Carolina Code of Laws § 61-4-110 notes that no person may carry beer or wine in an open container in a motor vehicle. The statute further clarifies that the state permits the transportation of closed containers of alcohol. This law’s intention is to stop the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the road.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, or the ABC Act, takes this understanding a step further. This act notes that the state considers both the transportation of open containers of beer and liquor to be two different offenses. While the offenses themselves fall into two unique categories, the qualifications of each are similar.

Open Beer Containers

No party in the state of South Carolina may transport open containers of beer, wine, or similar beverages in their cup holders, laps, or another conspicuous setting. Instead, interested parties may only transport the aforementioned beverages in a motor vehicle if they are stored in a trunk or piece of luggage.

State law does note that beer and other alcoholic beverages may reside in a person’s car so long as the vehicle is parked. This means that a person tailgating has the right to retain their beer so long as they do not try to transport their beverages elsewhere.

Open Liquor Containers

South Carolina does allow the transportation of hard liquor by individuals age 21 or older so long as these containers are closed. Any containers of hard liquor that have been opened and placed in a car must be kept in a person’s luggage or trunk to avoid a violation of state law. Failure to safely store open containers of liquor can result in a misdemeanor charge. Anyone facing charges of this nature in Columbia is well-advised to consult with an open container charge attorney who could help them understand their defense options.

Penalties for Open Container Charges

As mentioned, possession of open containers of beer or liquor can result in a misdemeanor charge. Parties accused of transporting these goods in an inappropriate manner may face up to 30 days in jail alongside fines of $100.

These potential legal penalties are not something to be taken lightly. It is crucial to work with an attorney who understands the nature of open container charges in Columbia and can work to get charges reduced or even dropped entirely.

Let a Columbia Open Container Charge Attorney Get to Work for You

Parties, weddings, and other social events put you in direct contact with a significant amount of alcohol. If you are consuming these beverages, it is important to be aware of open container laws and ensure that you are not violating state law.

If you do find yourself facing an open container charge, know that you can fight the fines and jail time leveled against you. A Columbia open container charge lawyer could assess the facts of your case and build a robust defense against your charges. Schedule a free consultation today to get started.