The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

NHTSA's Open Container Laws

Impaired driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in America.

At least according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young Americans. Alcohol impaired driving is the leading cause of motor vehicle fatalities in America. Every thirty minutes, someone in the United States is killed in an alcohol related crash. 

As a result, most Pennsylvania DUI attorneys are well aware that drinking and driving laws span the states and are extensive. Drunk driving laws have commanded national attention over the years.

Open container laws are hardly unfamiliar to Pennsylvania DUI attorneys. Under these laws, applicable in Pennsylvania, the passenger area of a motor vehicle includes the glove compartments and any other areas of the vehicle that could be readily accessed by the drivers or the passengers while in their seats. Open containers of alcohol could subject the vehicle operators to liability; even if the vehicle was parked on the shoulder of a public highway. 

Pennsylvania follows these federal guidelines on open container restrictions in vehicles. The open-container laws are essential to highway safety and their enforcement would certainly serve a greater public purpose.

Despite the federal guidelines, Pennsylvania DUI attorneys are familiar with any available defenses to prosecution under these open container laws. Reasonable challenges may arise with regards to criminal search and seizure procedure, the validity of DUI stops or the nature of the specific DUI offense the suspect faces.  Anyone facing allegations under the open container laws should talk to a Pennsylvania DUI attorney immediately. 

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