Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Criminal Defense, Worker’s Compensation, And Employment Law
In Baltimore, Maryland

Can I drive with an open container of alcohol in my car?

Drivers know how important it is to follow the laws on the road. However, sometimes the rules are not very clear, and people don’t know about them, which can cause confusion.

For example, did you know there are specific laws about having open containers of alcohol while driving? These laws are called open container laws, and they keep people safe.

What are open container laws?

These laws are, simply put, laws that make it illegal to have open containers of alcohol in the passenger areas of a vehicle while it is being driven or parked on a public road. The laws include any open bottle, cans or container of alcohol.

In Maryland, it is illegal for the driver or any passenger to possess an open container of alcohol in the passenger areas of a vehicle while the vehicle is in motion. These laws apply to having any alcoholic drink or empty container of alcohol in the passenger areas of the vehicle.

Passenger areas

It is important to understand what “passenger areas” means because the laws specifically target these areas.

Passenger areas are any part of the vehicle where people sit or ride. It also includes the glove compartment and the center console.


But what about exceptions? There are certain types of situations when you might see people drinking inside a vehicle where it is legal to do so.

For example, passengers in limousines, taxis or buses are allowed to have an open container of alcohol. In addition, passengers in the living area of a mobile home or trailer are exempt from these laws. Note that drivers may never drink and drive.


If law enforcement catches you violating Maryland’s laws in this way, you are subject to fines and penalties. Depending on the specific circumstances, the fines can be as high as $500 for a first-time offense.

Whether or not it is your first offense, it is critical to have an attorney who can represent you and advocate for you because of how the state charges and possibly convicts you, which could have lifelong consequences in many areas of your life.

However, the offense goes on the individual’s driving record, and it could lead to increased insurance rates or the suspension of their driver’s license.

In summary, it is important to understand and follow Maryland’s Open Container Laws to stay safe and keep others safe on the road.

Remember that it is not only you that you are protecting by following the law. It is everyone else in your vehicle, as well as other drivers, that you could hit if you are driving drunk.