Criminal Law

Arkansas Open Container Laws

Can I have an open container of alcohol in my vehicle while driving in Arkansas?

Up until 2017, the answer was yes. But the recently passed HB 1001 changes that. Now, it is illegal for passengers to have an open alcoholic beverage while on a highway or other public road.

It is legal to have an open alcohol container if it’s kept in a specific part of the vehicle. For instance, a locked glovebox or outside the passenger compartment. There is also an exception for open alcoholic containers in RVs as long as the container is in the living quarters.

This law is codified under Arkansas Code Annotated 5-71-218 and is a Class C Misdemeanor. What this means is you can be punished by a maximum of 30 days in jail for this offense. However, in most parts of the state, jail time is highly unlikely for such a minor violation.

If you have been charged with a violation of the Arkansas Open Container Law, give us a call for a free consultation.

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