Open Container Violations

316.1936 Possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages in vehicles prohibited; penalties.--

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) "Open container" means any container of alcoholic beverage which is immediately capable of being consumed from, or the seal of which has been broken.

(b) "Road" means a way open to travel by the public, including, but not limited to, a street, highway, or alley. The term includes associated sidewalks, the roadbed, the right-of-way, and all culverts, drains, sluices, ditches, water storage areas, embankments, slopes, retaining walls, bridges, tunnels, and viaducts necessary for the maintenance of travel and all ferries used in connection therewith.

(2)(a) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this section for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage or consume an alcoholic beverage while operating a vehicle in the state or while a passenger in or on a vehicle being operated in the state.

(b) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this section for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage or consume an alcoholic beverage while seated in or on a motor vehicle that is parked or stopped within a road as defined in this section. Notwithstanding the prohibition contained in this section, passengers in vehicles designed, maintained, and used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation and in motor homes are exempt.

(3) An open container shall be considered to be in the possession of the operator of a vehicle if the container is not in the possession of a passenger and is not located in a locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or other locked nonpassenger area of the vehicle.

(4) An open container shall be considered to be in the possession of a passenger of a vehicle if the container is in the physical control of the passenger.

(5) This section shall not apply to:

(a) A passenger of a vehicle in which the driver is operating the vehicle pursuant to a contract to provide transportation for passengers and such driver holds a valid commercial driver's license with a passenger endorsement issued in accordance with the requirements of chapter 322;

(b) A passenger of a bus in which the driver holds a valid commercial driver's license with a passenger endorsement issued in accordance with the requirements of chapter 322; or

(c) A passenger of a self-contained motor home which is in excess of 21 feet in length.

(6) Any operator of a vehicle who violates this section is guilty of a noncriminal moving traffic violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318. A passenger of a vehicle who violates this section is guilty of a nonmoving traffic violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(7) A county or municipality may adopt an ordinance which imposes more stringent restrictions on the possession of alcoholic beverages in vehicles than those imposed by this section.

(8) Nothing in this section prohibits the enforcement of s. 316.302.

(9) A bottle of wine that has been resealed and is transported pursuant to s. 564.09 is not an open container under the provisions of this section.

History.--s. 1, ch. 88-22; s. 22, ch. 89-282; s. 5, ch. 2000-313; s. 34, ch. 2005-164; s. 2, ch. 2005-250.

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