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Illegal Transportation of Alcohol / Open Container

Illegal Transportation of Alcohol/Open Container

The attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. provide legal representation to clients charged with Illegal Transportation of Alcohol throughout the Chicago area including Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County. Illegal transportation of alcohol is also known as the ‘open alcohol law’ or ‘open container law’.

What is illegal transportation of alcohol?

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-502 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, it is illegal for any driver to transport, carry, possess or have any open alcohol container in the passenger area of any motor vehicle upon a highway in Illinois. Open alcohol includes, but is not limited to, open beer, wine, liquor and champagne.

Alcoholic beverages must remain in their original container with the seal unbroken if transported in the passenger area of the vehicle. The only exception under the law relates to the possession of open alcohol in the passenger areas of limousines, chartered buses, and motorhomes or mini motorhomes. You are also not in violation of the law if the alcohol is secured in the trunk of your vehicle.

Being unaware or simply forgetting about the alcohol is not a legal defense. Similarly, the law does not consider whether you recently consumed any amount of alcohol. In fact, you can still be charged if the alcohol was from days, weeks or months prior.

What are the penalties for illegal transportation of alcohol?

Possession of open alcohol in a motor vehicle is typically charged as a petty offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.

This offense can have a serious impact on your driver's license. Illinois law subjects drivers under the age of 21 at the time of the violation to a driver's license suspension for a 12-month period for a first conviction of this offense.

The Secretary of State will also impose a license suspension for those 21 years of age or older if convicted of a second or subsequent time for this offense within one year. A driver convicted of a third or subsequent time with the offenses occurring within a 12-month period will have their driver’s license revoked.

For those persons who have a prior suspension or revocation within 7 years of the current suspension or revocation entered as a result of 2 convictions occurring as the result of offenses occurring within a 12-month period, their driving privileges shall be revoked.

Along with these possible license consequences, a violation of the Illinois open container law will subject a driver to high potential court costs and fines and auto insurance rate increases.

Contact our defense attorneys

If you have received a ticket in Illinois for Transportation or Possession of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle, contact our traffic lawyers today to discuss the specific events surrounding the incident.

Avoiding a conviction on your driving record is our top priority and, oftentimes, these violations can be contested in court. While evidence that the police officer viewed in plain sight may be used against you in court (such as an open container of alcohol), the police officer must have consent or probable cause when conducting a search of your vehicle.

Our lawyers practice primarily throughout Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County. Contact the attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. to review your case today.

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I wanted to let you know that I finally got my license back today. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. You did an amazing job and helped another person turn their life around. I will forever be indebted. Rest assured that I will refer anybody that I hear is in trouble to you guys. Thank you again. All the best. M.M.
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