Illinois takes drinking and driving seriously, which is why one can not only face charges for drinking while driving, but also for having an open container of liquor in the car with them.
These laws are made for everyone’s safety, as an NHTSA port shows that states without open container laws have a higher number of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities. What are the consequences for having an open bottle of beer or wine in the car with you?
What counts as an open container?
Illinois law states that it is illegal to transport, carry or possess alcohol in the passenger area of the car unless you have not tampered with the seal. Passengers can also face charges if they are found with an open bottle.
What are the penalties?
While the consequences may not be as severe as a drinking and driving charge, an open container charge is still serious.
Drivers who commit this offense may need to pay a fine of up to 1,000 dollars. If the crime is committed more than once within a year could face license suspension.
Are there exceptions?
There are exceptions, but they do not have much wiggle room. If individuals are traveling in a limousine as passengers, then the open bottle rule does not apply. Individuals are also allowed to have an open bottle of wine (from a restaurant or winery) in the vehicle as long as the bottle is tightly closed, it is in a clear. tamper-proof bag and the receipt is available upon request.
Having an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle can cause everyone on the road a lot of grief. Unless you have an open bottle due to one of the exceptions listed above, it is best to keep the alcohol out of the car.