What is the legal definition of the difference between a closed and open alchohol container in a automobile?

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2009

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What is the legal definition of the difference between a closed and open alchohol container in a automobile?

Let’s say I wanted to sell alcoholic mixed or frozen drinks through a drive through in Florida… Obviously the containers need to be “closed” to be legal but I need a better definition of “closed”. Would a foam cup with a lid, with a peice of tape over the cup and lid, be considered closed? What’s the “legal” difference between closed and sealed? Oh, and does the container have to be labeled in any way showing that it’s an alchoholic beverage? Thanks so much!!Chas

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I'm sorry, but this isn't a workable business plan.  The open container laws vary a little in how they work from one state to the next, and I'm not a Florida attorney, but usually any container that isn't still with its original, from-the-source seal, is "open."  You can't re-"seal" a beer bottle by twisting the cap back on!

Your customers probably would all be subject to immediate arrest, as soon as they hit the street.  And I can almost guarantee you that the police will be there to do it, within no more than half an hour after they find out about your drive-up (and it will take that long only if they are very, very busy at the time).

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