Open Container in South Carolina
Can you be arrested for having an open container and your vehicle? How about walking down the street with a beer or wine in your hand in Downtown Charleston? You know if I’m talking about it then the answer is yes. Hi, my name’s Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, South Carolina. Today we’re talking about open containers laws in the state.
What is an Open Container
South Carolina’s open container laws generally prohibit you from possessing beer or wine in a motor vehicle, and the local city ordinances typically prohibit you from having beer or wine in a cup walking in the streets, parks or playgrounds. Where can you transport an open container in a vehicle? Before we even get to that, it’s important that you understand what an open container is under the statute. If the cap or seal is broken on a container, that’s considered an open container. That means if you have a wine bottle that has a screw top and that cap has come off and the seal is broken, even if the cap is back on that bottle, it’s considered an open container.
Where can you put Open Container in your Car?
So, under our laws, if you want to transport alcohol or an open container inside a vehicle, they’re generally two places in which you can do so lawfully. One is in the trunk and the second is in a cargo area that’s away, separate, and distinct from the driver and passenger seat in the front. What about if you want to walk around Downtown Charleston with an open container of beer or a Solo cup that has wine in it? Again, our local ordinance here, and it’s very similar to many other cities within the State of South Carolina, is that you’re prohibited from walking around with a beer or an open container with alcohol along the streets and going from bar to bar or from one person’s house to another. That doesn’t apply if you’re at an event that the city has issued a special permit for that event early. Under those circumstances, yes, you can walk around with an open container within the confines of that event only.
Chalreston, SC Criminal Defense Attorney
What do you do if you’ve been given a ticket by a police for an open container? What’s important to remember is that these are misdemeanor offenses and they carry up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $100. You can go ahead and just pay that fine, but if you do, that means that you’re pleading guilty and you will now have a criminal conviction on your record. There are options available to you apart from just pleading guilty or paying the fine, and if you’d like to know what those options are, please give me a call at (843) 530-7813. I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.