You know that it is illegal to drive after drinking to the point of impairment. If your driving ability seems compromised to the police or if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit, a Florida police officer could arrest you for drunk driving.
However, maybe you had just a single mixed drink or glass of wine at a party. You are sober enough to drive home safely, but you could still face a citation and claims that you broke the law. If you have an open bottle of wine or liquor in your vehicle, a police officer could potentially cite you for having an open intoxicant in the vehicle.
Open intoxicant rules help limit drunk driving
The intention behind the Florida state law that makes it illegal for those in passenger vehicles to have open containers of alcohol is to deter drinking and driving. However, it can also lead to technical infractions by those who are sober enough to safely drive.
Technically, a first offense is a non-criminal moving traffic violation. The person accused will usually pay a fine of up to $90 as a driver or $60 as a passenger. The state will also add three points to someone’s driving record in certain cases and will report the offense itself on your driving record, which could ultimately result in substantially higher insurance costs.
Drivers and passengers can avoid violations by locking opened containers of alcohol in the trunk or in a secure container inside the vehicle. Otherwise, police officers could cite them or possibly arrest. Learning about Florida’s various traffic laws can help you avoid or fight a recent traffic citation.