Florida Open Container Law
Open container laws vary widely from state to state and from county to county within the state of Florida. West Palm Beach open container laws vary from Broward or Miami-Dade laws; if you are embarking on a night out on the town it’s important to be aware of the local alcohol laws in your area. It’s important to remember that Florida has open container laws that are almost always in effect (except in certain areas during specific circumstances).
In Palm Beach County, alcohol may be served all seven days of the week. From Sunday through Thursday, alcohol may be sold between 7am and 3am. On Fridays and Saturdays, alcohol may be sold from 7am until 4am. Most places can sell alcohol from 12pm to 3am on sundays. Exceptions are made for major holidays in which the hours are usually extended until 4am.
Although you can drink alcohol into the wee hours of the night at private establishments, strict open container laws prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages anywhere else besides your own home.
Defining an Open Container
An open container is defined as “any alcoholic beverage that is immediately capable of being consumed.” In this sense, it refers to alcoholic beverage containers that have had their seals broken, like a bottle of beer that has had its cap twisted off.
Open container laws designate where open alcohol containers, such as an open can of beer or uncorked bottle of wine, may not be present. Generally, open containers are prohibited from the inside of a motor vehicle and public spaces. The law is defined in Florida Statute §316.1936.
Violations of the law are considered non-criminal in nature and may be cited as either moving or nonmoving violations. Passengers can be cited for holding open containers. If an open container is not in the physical control of a passenger, the driver of the vehicle is held responsible. In Florida, drivers violating open container laws can be cited for moving violations, while passengers in control of open containers can be cited for nonmoving violations.
Additionally, public consumption of alcohol is not acceptable. You can be cited for consuming alcohol or possessing alcohol on streets, sidewalks, in parking lots or on beaches throughout the state. An open container can be an open bottle or can, flask, cup, or glass containing any amount of alcohol. Public intoxication is a second degree misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
Many visitors to Palm Beach County may be unaware of local laws regarding the consumption of alcohol. Oftentimes, tourists find themselves in trouble with the law for public intoxication and other charges. If you have violated the state’s Open Container Law, contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel. We may be able to have your open container violation dismissed, or charges of public intoxication dropped. Call 561-622-5575 for more information or contact us to schedule a free legal consultation.