How Serious is an Open Container Citation in Georgia?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Sep 01, 2018 | 0 Comments

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I see citations of open container quite frequently accompany charges of DUI in Georgia. 

In today's post, I will outline the law behind open container in Georgia and show how it could potentially lead to more serious Georgia DUI Penalties. 

Open Container in Georgia

According to the Georgia Code, an open container violation comes from O.C.G.A. §40-6-253 and states:

The State of Georgia prohibits the consumption or possession of open alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of any vehicle while on a public highway or shoulder of a public highway. 

If a beverage contains .5% of alcohol or more by volume, the beverage itself is classified as illegal if it is open in the vehicle. By law, a beverage is open if the seal is broken or if any of the contents have been removed. 

The penalty for an open container violation is two points added to your Georgia Driver's License. Added with the offense of DUI as well as any Georgia DUI Related Traffic Violations, this can lead to the a suspension of your license. 

There is also a fine for an open container violation. The fine can be up to $200. 

Practice Note

An open container also strengthens the state's case against you if you have also been charged with DUI. This is why a case that involves both DUI and open container should be taken very seriously. Having a DUI Conviction is no joke in Georgia. 

There is no such thing as a Georgia DUI Expungement, which is why your case should be taken seriously from the moment of the arrest. If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, contact our offices today. We specialize in Georgia DUI Defense and can help you with your case.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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