In July of 2017, Rogers County officers attempted to stop a man for speeding. The driver, once the officer began getting out of the police car, sped off. He led officers on a chase over highways and through county roads, evading roadblocks and ramping over railroad tracks. When the chase came to an end, the man admitted running because he had possession of an open container of beer in the vehicle and was driving without a valid license. Possession of an open container while driving is a serious offense. Many people do not understand the gravity since it is not a DUI, but it can carry heavy penalties too.
Laws in Oklahoma: Possession of an Open Container
Possession of an open container is illegal under 21 Okl.St.Ann. § 1220. This means that a driver or passenger in a moving vehicle cannot have an open container in reach. While most people would think this only applies to public streets, it does not. You may be put under arrest even if you are in an alley. The legal definition of an open container is also a bit tedious. Having any alcoholic beverage that has a broken seal or has clearly been opened may also be considered an open container.
In order to avoid possession of an open container charges, we have a few tips. First, make sure to keep any open container in your trunk or another compartment outside the cab of your vehicle. However, if you have a station wagon or other type of hatchback, you can legally put an open container in the back storage area.
You may also find our DUI Defenses articles interesting.
Possession of an open container is a misdemeanor under Oklahoma law. An Oklahoma misdemeanor usually has a six month jail term and fine reaching $500. However, other court fines and costs will exist along with the punitive fines. For example, you will also have to pay $100 to a trauma care assistance fund.
Our Tulsa Attorneys Can Help
We know that mistakes happen. We also understand that sometimes your passengers can get you into trouble. Charges of possession of an open container and transporting an open container can remain on your record for years to come. Our attorneys can provide you with the best possible defense for your circumstances. Free first consultation. 918.743.2233
Tulsa's Local Criminal Defense Lawyers
Are you looking for Tulsa attorneys who will fight aggressively for you? Our team of criminal defense attorneys have the experience needed in Oklahoma law to secure the outcome you deserve.