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Rules for passengers in South Carolina

Most drivers know that they cannot drive a car under the influence of alcohol. The law also makes it difficult for anyone else to drink alcohol in a moving car. Open container laws exist in 43 states with 40 of them conforming to the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Such legislation may make drivers liable for any container that is within their reach whether or not they touched it or drank from it.

Additionally, passengers may also receive a citation for being near an open container in a vehicle regardless of what their BAC is. In states that don't have such laws, local ordinances generally ban open containers in an automobile. However, if there are no state or local laws regarding alcohol in vehicles, passengers may drink while someone else is driving.

In fact, in Mississippi, drivers may be allowed to drink while driving as long as their BAC is under the legal limit. In the French Quarter of New Orleans, drivers and passengers are allowed to have alcohol in the car as long as the driver is not drinking. This makes it possible for those in the area to enjoy drive-thru frozen cocktail establishments.

Those who receive drunk driving charges are of course not automatically guilty Talking to a criminal defense attorney may make it possible to have it dropped or reduced through a plea bargain. It may be possible to argue that there were no open containers in the vehicle or that it was legal to have open containers at the location where the traffic stop was conducted. This may allow a driver to avoid jail time, a fine or a driver's license suspension or revocation.

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