Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Can a passenger drink alcohol in my car?

Every driver in the country knows that it is illegal to consume alcohol and then operate a motor vehicle of any kind, be it a car, motorcycle or even a boat. Law enforcement officials take possible DUI cases very seriously, which is one of the reasons that attempting to claim that an alcoholic beverage belongs to your passenger will likely not save you if you get pulled over.

There are only seven states in the country that do not have what are known as open container laws, and Louisiana is not one of them. Because of the open container laws in our state, you could be in violation simply for having a container that holds or once held an alcoholic beverage in your vehicle. Even if the container belongs to your passenger and even if you never touched the container or its contents, you could still be in violation of the open container laws.

It is important to note that simply being in violation of open container laws is not nearly as serious as being charged or convicted of a DUI, but if a police officer pulls you over and sees an open container, the chances of you being charged with a DUI will increase significantly. Simply seeing an open container gives an officer probable cause to search your vehicle and administer a field sobriety test, and if you fail that sobriety test, your situation will immediately escalate.

The most effective way to avoid such a circumstance is simply not to have an open container of any kind in your vehicle because even an empty soda can could have been filled with alcohol, and a law enforcement official may become suspicious. But it is unreasonable to expect drivers everywhere to spend hours on the road without a refreshment, so simply do your best to show that the container is not filled with alcohol. If you are found to be in violation of the open container laws, and if you are charged with a DUI, consider contacting an attorney immediately to help you with your legal defense.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Need Help From An Experienced Team Of Trial Attorneys?

Use the form below to contact our attorneys directly. Contact us right now.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience and are AV-rated* under Martindale Hubbell's peer review rating system.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Law Office Map