If I received a ticket for an open container while driving, what do I do now?

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2011

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If I received a ticket for an open container while driving, what do I do now?

I’m 18 and was the designated driver. The cops pulled us over and discovered a container of alcohol. The girl who was the owner of the container did not confess at the time; she told me she has too much crap on her record so she can’t take blame. I contacted her to help pay for the $1,000 but she said she didn’t feel obligated. The bail amount is $600 and traffic school is $400. Am I eligible for traffic school even though it’s an alcohol related offence? Will I get my license suspended?

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Criminal Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In California, the charge of an open container is a misdemeanor. In California, the penalty for a misdemeanor is up to six (6) months in jail and or a one-thousand dollar ($1,000.00) fine. Whether or not the open container of alcohol was yours or not, the driver of a motor vehicle is required to have no open containers in the vehicle that he or she is driving.

This is why you were charged with the offense. Most likely you are not eligible for traffic school because the charge against you is a misdemeanor and not an infraction.

Most likely you will not get your license suspended as the result of any conviction for having an open cintainer in your vehicle especially if it was not near you. Given the seriousness of the charge, it is strongly recommened that you consult with a criminal defense attorney to assist you concerning your criminal action.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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