Arizona is one of 43 U.S. states that outlaws the possession of an open container of alcohol while operating a vehicle or while within the passenger compartment of a vehicle. While an open container violation does not carry the same consequences of a DUI, the state of Arizona does have one of the harshest open container laws in the country.
It is against the law in Arizona for a person in a vehicle to have an open empty container that once contained an alcoholic beverage or an open container with an alcoholic beverage still in it. According to Arizona Revised Statute 4-251, a person that violates the open container law can be found guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor, which is punishable with a fine of up to $750 and up to four months in jail. Other states simply have a fine that is less than $50 for such a violation.
ARS 4-251 also states that there is an exception to the law: if a person is a passenger of a bus, limousine or taxi and is in possession of an open container then it is still legal to be in possession of an open container of alcohol.
Anybody that has been accused of violating the state's open container law should contact an Arizona DUI attorney for help with criminal defense. An attorney can work to get the charges dismissed or reduced and ensure that the defendant's rights are being protected. More information on DUI laws and open container laws can be found through our Related Resources pages.