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What are open container laws in Ft Bend County Texas?

What are open container laws in Ft Bend County Texas? As you undoubtedly know, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious crime in Texas with hefty fines and irrevocable consequences. But, the idiosyncrasies of the law when it comes to driving with alcohol in a vehicle can leave citizens scratching their heads. The situation only exacerbates if minors are in the car or if the minor is the operator of the vehicle…

What if a passenger has an open container in your car? What if a minor is drinking in your car? What if you bought alcohol and are traveling with minors in the car? What is considered “possession of alcohol” while operating a vehicle? The list of scenarios can become extensive and leave you unsure of the law regarding your particular circumstances. Shawn McDonald with SMB Criminal Defense Lawyers expounds on alcohol possession in this recent video stating that law enforcement must prove that you were in custody or control of an alcoholic substance for a charge to be admissible.  

What is considered “possession” of alcohol? “Physical control” means that you had the ability to access the alcohol immediately. The law leaves room for discretionary interpretation for the meaning of the word “possession” so it’s important that you consult an experienced attorney for advice regarding DWI, DUI, or MIP charges.

Video Transcript

Interviewer: “From a, you know, driving standpoint. You’re 16, you’re 17, you’re driving around, you got a bottle of liquor, unopened beer in the trunk. Whether it’s open or unopen. Liquor bottles, beer, whatever. What is the law related to that as far as what’s going to work, what’s not? What can you get charged with?”

Shawn McDonald: “It’s kind of the same thing with any substance. Cocaine, meth. They got to show that you’re in possession. Care, custody, control, or management. I mean if it’s in the trunk of your car, is it your car? Is it your parent’s car? Is it warm beer? You know, is there a receipt? Do you have alcohol on your breath? It’s kind of all those factors that play in for them to show that you’re actually in possession of it. But I mean, if you got four kids and there’s liquor on the floorboard, someone’s going to get an MIP ticket.”

Amanda Bolin: “Or all.”

Shawn McDonald: “Or all, yeah. All.”

Interviewer: “Ok.”


*This blog post “What are open container laws in Ft Bend County Texas?” is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.