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Grand Rapids Open Container Laws

In Michigan, consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle, whether the driver or the passenger is drinking, is illegal. All open containers must be stored in the trunk of the vehicle, where they cannot be easily accessed. If you have recently been arrested for violating Michigan alcohol laws, you should contact an experienced defense attorney for advice on your pending case.

Open Container Regulation

Open container laws are similar to legal drinking age laws in that the state government regulates the matter, but receives “encouragement” from the federal government on implementing the suggested laws. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) provides the guidelines for open container laws. While the state does not have to pass this law, states that are not in compliance will have a portion of their road maintenance funding allocated to alcohol education.

Michigan open container laws are designed to deter people from drinking and driving. People who are found in possession of an open container in a moving vehicle may receive a ticket and could face consequences. In Michigan, the penalties for having an open container may include fines and possibly some jail time. You should speak with an experienced lawyer for more information on the potential penalties in your case.

Definition of an Open Container

What is considered an open container? “Container” can apply to any can, bottle, jar, cup, or receptacle that is used to hold alcohol. Whether it contains wine, beer, or liquor, if the seal is broken and can be readily consumed by a person, it is considered an open container.

In many cases, open container violations go hand in hand with driving under the influence (DUI) violations. In Michigan, drivers over the age of 21 may be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol content is .08% or higher. The penalties for drunk driving include jail time, probation, fines, community service, and the loss of driving privileges.

Contacting An Attorney

Do you have questions about Michigan open container laws? If so, contact The Barone DUI Defense Firm for a free case evaluation. By filling out our online case information form, you will also receive a copy of The Michigan DUI Book (A Citizen’s Handbook on Fighting a Michigan DUI Case).