Texas DWI Cases Involving an Open Container Component

Insights from a Top Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston

A charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be a scary experience. When the offense is compounded with an open container charge, you have reason to be all the more concerned. In such cases, you need access to an experienced lawyer who can help you make the best choices after you have been charged.        

At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, making sure you are treated fairly is a top priority. We can often help to reduce DWI charges for our clients in the Houston area. Do not wait to get the expert guidance needed to ensure the best outcome.      

Understanding the Law and Your Rights

As you may already know, the state of Texas does not take a Driving While Intoxicated offense lightly. A conviction could affect your record and many aspects of your life, so a DWI charge must be handled by a lawyer with extensive knowledge in this area.  

Here are some details you should know if you have been charged for DWI coupled with an open container offense:

  • Open Container Violation – It is illegal in Texas to have an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. It does not matter whether or not the car or other type of vehicle is in motion or stopped. It is still against the law to have the open container in the vehicle.
  • Definition of Open Container – An open container is defined as any open bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains an alcoholic beverage of any sort. Even if the seal is broken and the alcohol has been untouched, it is still illegal to have such an item in a vehicle in Texas.  
  • Location – Whether the opened container of alcohol is in the driver or passenger area of a vehicle, it is prohibited. Neither a driver nor any passengers may imbibe alcohol inside a vehicle.
  • DWI – Driving while intoxicated is an even more serious offense than having an open container in a vehicle. In fact, after the second such offense, you could be charged with a felony crime.          

DWI, Open Containers, and the Law

There are certain exceptions to the laws mentioned here. One example is if an open container is kept in a locked trunk. Another exception is if the passenger imbibing alcohol does so in a hired limousine.

If you are charged with an open container violation or a DWI involving drugs or alcohol, contact a lawyer from The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates. You will benefit from our wealth of experience in this area.        

When you have been charged with an offense related to alcohol or drugs, contact us. We are proud to serve the residents of Houston, Galveston, Clear Lake and League City, Texas. Call us today at 281-280-0100, or you can reach us via our online contact form.

Sources:
https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/what-is-the-difference-between-a-dwi-and-an-open-c-539125.html
https://www.tabc.state.tx.us/enforcement/driving_while_intoxicated.asp
https://dwi.austindefense.com/2006/10/articles/texas-dwi-laws/open-container-law-texas-penal-code-section-49031/
http://www.wilderdwidefense.com/Blog/2014/January/Texas-Drinking-Laws-Open-Containers-of-Alcohol
http://www.austindwilawyer.net/texasdwilaws/texasopencontainerlaws
http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/can-a-passenger-drink-alcohol.htm
http://www.mytexasdefenselawyer.com/texas-criminal-laws-penalties/dwi-laws/