Open Container

Open Container Laws in South Carolina

Can you be arrested for walking down the street in South Carolina with a beer or wine in your hand?  You Know if I’m talking about it then the answer is yes.

Hi, my name is Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, SC. Today we’re talking about South Carolina’s Open Container laws and how they can affect you.

South Carolina’s open container laws generally prohibit you from possessing open containers of beer or wine in a motor vehicle and many of the local ordinances prohibit you from walking on the street or sidewalk unless the City has issued a special event permit.

Open Container in Motor Vehicle

So where can you transport an open container in your vehicle?

  • If the cap or seal is broken even if it is a screw top wine bottle;
  • Must be in the trunk or luggage compartment or a cargo area that is separate and distinct from the driver’s and passenger’s compartment.

This law does not apply to vehicles parked in legal parking places during functions such as sporting events.

Open Container on the Street

If you are walking around downtown Charleston it is illegal to do so with an open container unless it is a special event where there is a permit.  Basically, that means don’t walk around with a beer or solo cup with alcohol in it because you can be ticketed for an open container violation.

Most of the time you will be given a ticket by police and released on site.  If you just go ahead and pay the fine you are pleading guilty to a criminal offense.  These are misdemeanor offenses but will show up on your criminal record.

Charleston, SC Criminal Defense Attorney

You do have several options to get these types of charges resolved without a conviction if you qualify so if you ‘d like to discuss your options, please call me at (843) 530-7813.  I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.

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