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Open alcohol containers are forbidden in all vehicles

When you are out partying with friends, you might have one who is riding in your vehicle who wants to bring their alcoholic beverage with them when you leave the venue. This isn't ever a good idea because of open container laws. Nobody in a vehicle can have an open container in North Carolina. It doesn't matter if the person is the driver or passenger.

Another point to know about North Carolina law is that open container laws also apply to parked vehicles. This shocks many people because a parked vehicle isn't in motion so they assume that they can drink in a car to get out of the elements.

There are a couple of exceptions to the open container laws, but they don't apply to most situations. Open containers are possible in a house trailer, in the living quarters of a motor home, and in the passenger area of a vehicle that is used, manufactured and designed for the transportation of people for compensation (like a limo or party bus), but the type of alcohol matters. Only unfortified wine and malt beverages are allowable. No open containers of spirituous liquor, fortified wine, or wine with a high alcohol content are ever permissible.

Any container of alcohol that has a broken seal is considered to be open. Even if there isn't any missing and nobody in the vehicle has had a sip of alcohol, the container is still considered open.

If you are charged with having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, you may be scrutinized for the possibility of being impaired. You should take the charge seriously and work on your DUI defense strategy as quickly as possible.

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An Award-Winning LawyerFirm founder Dustin R.T. Sullivan has been recognized as one of the leading attorneys in North Carolina. His accolades include:

  • Super Lawyer2017 Rising Star in DWI Defense Super Lawyers of North Carolina
  • Superior DUI Attorney 20162016 Superior DUI Attorney ranking for fourth consecutive year by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense
  • Super Lawyer | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Selected In 20172016 Public Service Award for Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • 10 Best 2017 | Attorney | Client Satisfaction 2015 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award by the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
  • NAFLA2015 Top 10 Ranking by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys
    • Top Rated On AVVO
    • Review Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Avvo
    • Top Contributor Award 2014 | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Avvo
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Top Attorney
    • 2014 Top 100 Attorneys in North Carolina by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense
    • nafdd
  • StarNews Media | Finalist for Best Attorney2013 Finalist for Best Attorney in Cape Fear region by Wilmington Star News
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Sullivan Law
3490 Old Ocean Highway
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