Michigan Open Intoxicants Law
Having an open bottle of any alcoholic beverage in Michigan is a misdemeanor under state law. It is also prohibited under many city ordinances. If you have been charged with this crime and need assistance, you can contact us online or call us to hire an attorney.
Michigan Open Intoxicant Attorneys
In Michigan, it is illegal for a driver or occupant of a vehicle to transport or possess alcohol in an uncapped or unsealed container in the passenger compartment of the vehicle while the vehicle is on the roadway or moving in any place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles. The purpose for making Open Intoxicants illegal in Michigan is to try to stop people from drinking and driving. There are two exceptions to this Open Container law in Michigan. First, there is no violation of law if the vehicle does not have a trunk or separate compartment, and the open container is enclosed or encased and not readily accessible to the occupants of the vehicle. The second exception is when the passenger is riding in an authorized chartered vehicle. In all other instances open intoxicants are banned.
Off Road Open Intoxicant Violations
Like Michigan Operating While Intoxicated laws, you do not have to be on the road to commit this violation. It is enough that your vehicle is in a place open to the public, designated as a parking area, or generally accessible to vehicles. So, a parking lot or your drive way would certainly qualify.
Michigan Cork and Carry Law
For people purchasing a bottle of wine at dinner, there is a provision in the law for them to transport the capped bottle home. The bottle must be in the trunk if the vehicle has a trunk. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, it must be in a locked glove compartment, or behind the last seat of the vehicle. It should not be in an area of the vehicle where it is accessible to occupants, or in an area where people normally would ride.
Penalties for Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle violation:
Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle is a misdemeanor crime in Michigan that could land you in jail for up to 90 days. You could also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $100, perform community service, and undergo substance abuse screening.
After your first Open Intoxication offense, your driver’s license will not be suspended or revoked, but expect that to change with subsequent offenses, including 30 days of suspension and 60 days of restriction for a second offense and 60 days of suspension and 305 days of restriction for a third offense. Each Open Intoxicants offense leads to 2 points on the offender’s driver’s license.
Many times, Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle is charged right along with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI). So, expect that you will receive extra penalties if you are found guilty of those crimes, as well.
Do not confuse Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle to the crime of Consuming Alcohol on a Highway, which does not require the offender be in a vehicle. Consuming Alcohol on a Highway is a misdemeanor crime that carries up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Your Michigan Open Intoxicants lawyer:
At The Kronzek Firm PLC, we have practiced law for over 80 combined years. We know what it takes to win drunk driving cases in Michigan. We are known across the legal community as being tough criminal defense lawyers. We fight to win!
Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation! We can be reached at (866) 766-5245 or you can contact us online.