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Open Container Laws in North Carolina

In addition to the harsh laws in place to penalize individuals convicted of drinking and driving, there are laws regulating the transportation of alcohol in vehicles. Open container laws strictly forbid motorists from having open bottles, cans, or other containers of alcohol anywhere in the automobile that is within reach of the car’s occupants. While most states have some form of open container laws, North Carolina has developed several specific regulations.

If you or someone you love is facing a drinking and driving charge or has been accused of another alcohol related crime, you may be in need of legal assistance. Contact the Raleigh DWI defense attorneys at the Law Office of Jim Black at 919-600-4609 for information about your legal rights and options at this time.

Specifics on Open Container Laws

In North Carolina, the law states that there can be no open containers of alcohol in the passenger area of an automobile. This includes spaces such as the glove box or back seat which may be easily accessible to drivers and passengers. Some exceptions to this rule include the following:

  • Opened and resealed bottles of wine, port, champagne, or other alcoholic products can be stored in commercial transportation vehicles as long as the driver has not consumed any alcohol prior to driving
  • Occupants of motor homes or similar vehicles may store alcohol in the living quarters of the vehicle

Opened containers of spirituous liquor are always forbidden in the passenger areas of vehicles, and there are strict limitations on the amount of alcohol that can be moved at one time. This is not a concern for most people, but anyone who is considering moving bulk amounts of alcohol in their vehicle should investigate the legal limits before beginning the transportation.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love has been charged with driving while intoxicated or has questions pertaining to open container laws, the Raleigh DWI defense attorneys at the Law Office of Jim Black are prepared to help. Contact us today at 919-600-4609 for more information about your case.


"Jim, I just wanted to thank you again for everything you did for me. I am very happy about the outcome and would recommend you to anyone and everyone who has a DUI case. Two things that stuck out the most is your patience and honesty, you wanted the best for me and that was obvious."

The Law Office of Jim Black

5 West Hargett Street #310
Raleigh, NC 27601

Phone: (919) 600-4609
Fax: (919) 834-4891


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