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What do you know about open container laws?

When it comes to alcohol related crimes, it's not uncommon to run into some gray area. For example, you may assume that it's okay to walk down your street with a beer in hand. While this may be acceptable in some states and communities, others consider it a violation of the law.

In short, open container laws are in place to:

-- Prevent motor vehicle accidents, such as those caused by the use of alcohol by both drivers and passengers.

-- Maintain a high quality of life by making it illegal for people to drink in public places.

Have you recently been charged with a crime as the result of an open container violation? If so, you need to learn more about the charge, the laws in your community and state and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

Some of the things that you need to think about include:

-- Whether or not you actually violated the law, as set forth by your community or state

-- Whether the arresting officer followed all rules of the law

-- Whether your behavior can be considered a criminal violation

Due to the fact that open container laws vary from one city and state to the next, it's possible to make an honest mistake that lands you in trouble with the law.

If you find yourself charged with a crime, don't wait to learn more about what happened and your legal rights. You may be able to implement a defense strategy that allows you to avoid a serious punishment, such as a large fine.

Source: FindLaw, "Open Container Law," accessed May 12, 2017

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