NJ NEW JERSEY OPEN CONTAINER LAW
Understanding New Jersey’s Open Container Law: What You Need to Know
If you enjoy a few drinks with friends while driving in New Jersey, you need to be aware of the state’s open container law. The open container law is not the same as the drunk driving law, which many people mistakenly believe. In this article, we will provide everything you need to know about New Jersey’s open container law, including what it entails and why it is vital to be mindful of it when driving in the state.
What is The New Jersey Open Container Law?
The New Jersey open container law, also referred to as NJ Statute 39:4-51b, mandates that all containers holding alcohol must be sealed and kept closed while operating any vehicle on public roads or places. It applies to both drivers and passengers alike. Anyone guilty of having an open container of alcoholic beverages in their car may face fines of up to $500. Importantly, keep in mind that there is a distinction between the NJ open container law and DUI/DWI law; these two laws are not identical.
Is Violating The Open Container Law A Crime?
Suppose there is no proof of alcohol consumption when police stop a driver violating the New Jersey open container law; in that case, they will face a non-criminal traffic violation that will only appear on their driving recordIt will not affect your criminal record.
Are There Exceptions To The New Jersey Open Container Law?
While the NJ open container law seems stringent, three qualifying exceptions can exempt some drivers from its application:
1. Where the container stores If drivers store opened containers where they are inaccessible to passengers and themselves, such as in the vehicles trunk or backseat compartment with no access.
2. Limos & Buses State authorized limousines and buses have exemptions from NJ’s open-container regulations.
3. Mobile Homes & Campers – Recreational vehicles’ living areas can contain opened alcoholic containers without the drivers facing any violations of New Jersey or any other state’s open container laws.
Who Is Affected By The Open Container Law?
In NJ and all US states, anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 will face criminal charges for holding any alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, even with a sealed container. If they are over 18 years old, this offense gets treated as an adult offender. If under 18, it becomes a juvenile crime.
Additionally, both drivers and passengers who drink open alcoholic beverages while traveling on the roadface legal action as violators of the state’s open-container mandate.
Can You Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer While Driving In NJ?
Suppose you drink non-alcoholic beer in New Jersey while driving and police observe that the bottle resembles an alcoholic beverage. In that case, you could get pulled over. However, if such occurs but your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is below 0.08%, and you can prove that the drink does not have alcohol content, no legal offense has been committed.
Penalties For Violating New Jersey’s Open Container Law:
The amount of penalty for violating New Jerseys Open Container Law depends mainly on whether the offender has any prior offence record. For first-time offenders, they would pay $200 while second-time offenders would have to pay $250 or ten days of community service as penalty for their violation.For third or multiple offenses more penalties apply.
Let Todd Spodek Help You
Any driver charged with DUI or breaking NJ’s open container law should consider getting help from competent attorneys like Todd Spodek to avoid going to jail.
Todd spodek is a reliable and reputable lawyer who understands the intricacies of different criminal charges.His level of expertise ensures exploration of every option available to get alternative means of sentencing such as house arrest , community service ,probation among others . Todd has considerable experience in helping his clients overcome DUI and NJ open container law charges, and he can help you too.
In conclusion, understanding NJ’s open container law is necessary for every driver operating a vehicle on public roads or places. It is advisable to avoid drinking while inside a car as penalties could affect your driving record. Remember always to make sure any alcoholic containers in your car remain sealed and out of reach from drivers or passengers to avoid violating New Jersey open container law. Contact Todd Spodek if you have any legal issues regarding such violations.
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS