LEGAL GUIDE
Written by Avvo Staff | Mar 1, 2016

Open container laws by state

Open container laws determine whether's it legal for you to drink alcohol in your car or a public place. Unlike some laws, these rules depend a lot on where you live. Take a look at the charts below to see what is allowed in your state.

Drinking as a passenger in a car

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State laws preventing passengers from drinking usually don't apply to dedicated transportation services. In other words, buses, taxis, and limousines are exempt. Only 4 jurisdictions don't have this exception: Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia.

The exact terms of that exception will depend on your state, and services like Uber may not be covered under it.

Drinking in public

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"Not specified" means that there is no state law against public drinking. However, cities can choose to have laws that are more restrictive than state policy, so check local ordinances to be sure.

Savannah, GA and New Orleans, LA, are the exception. These cities' laws specifically allow public drinking under certain circumstances.

If you're unsure if you can openly drink alochol in your city, as a passenger in a vehicle or in public spaces, check your local ordiances or ask a lawyer in our Q&A forum.

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