Arrested for Open Container

Many individuals find themselves confused while being arrested for an open container in an automobile. Below is the information needed to understand the open container laws and how to find legal assistance from Shipp-Law.

Colorado’s open container laws apply to alcohol or marijuana consumption or open containers in motor vehicles.  

Is it Slightly Open?

Under Colorado law, an “open container of alcohol” does not even have to be fully opened. It can be considered open if it’s slightly opened or the seal is just broken. It also applies to a container in the passenger area of the vehicle. 

In Colorado, any bottle, can, or container with any amount of alcohol with a broken seal is an open container. Passengers can’t drink or have open containers while in the vehicle. Breaking the rules is a Class A traffic infraction punishable by a fine. Additional surcharges apply for alcohol or marijuana infractions. BUT THE BIGGER PROBLEM is that the arresting officer may suspect that the driver is impaired,  leading to the officer asking you out of the car and then requesting that you participate in roadside testing. Officers often do not make it clear to you that these tests are VOLUNTARY. They are not required and we do not recommend that you do the eye test, the walk-and-turn, or the one-leg stand.

Marijuana Container.

Marijuana Containers that are open in motor vehicles are subject to similar regulations as open containers of alcohol. Any container or equipment containing marijuana that shows signs of a loose or broken seal is considered an “open container of marijuana” and falls under these regulations. The restrictions on open containers of marijuana in the passenger area of a vehicle follow the same strict rules. 

Contact Us. 

If you are caught violating Colorado’s open container laws, you must contact an experienced attorney. Contact us on our website at Shipp Law or call (970) 927-2255 twenty-four hours a day. An open container violation may not seem serious but having a criminal record is.