Fighting Open Container Cases in Austin

Open Container Violation

According to Austin DWI Lawyer Jackson F. Gorski, open container violations in Austin will result in small to moderate fines. However, there are times in which it may lead to much steeper consequences. So it’s important that you know how to avoid this offense. Here are a few things that can make you vulnerable to an open container violation.

Drinking Alcohol in Public Places

You’re very likely to receive an open container violation if you fail to keep your bottles and cans sealed. This is an easy mistake to make if you’re taking the bottle from a friend’s home after a social gathering. Bottles that are not sealed or in a bag may be viewed negatively by the police.

Related: 15 Unusual Facts About Texas Alcohol Laws

Ignoring Established Boundaries

If you fail to pay attention to established boundaries, then you may receive a violation. In certain instances, there are specific areas in which people are permitted to drink. In fact, there are often signs posted that specify where you’re allowed to carry open containers of alcohol in public places. For example, while you may not be allowed to drink on public sidewalks, you may be permitted to drink on a specific area of the sidewalk if you’re a patron of a bar or sidewalk café.

Drinking and Driving in Austin


It’s important to keep in mind that drinking and driving makes you more vulnerable to receiving an open container violation in Travis County. This is because your container will be open while you drive. Even if the passenger has a bottle of beer, if it’s in a place where you could easily reach it, you could be charged.

Storing Empty Cans or Bottles

There are a lot of drivers who are in the habit of not regularly cleaning or organizing their vehicle. Unfortunately, this can make a huge impact on your life if you are ever pulled over. You can possibly be cited for all of your empty cans and bottles. Even if the alcohol was consumed by someone else, a very long time ago you may still be held responsible for it. In fact, even if the container has only a small amount of alcohol, it will be viewed as an open container. This is why it’s often recommended that drivers rinse out their empty bottles and cans if they are carrying them in their vehicles.

Engaging in Disruptive or Dangerous or Behavior

Another way in which you may make yourself vulnerable to an open container violation is by acting disorderly. This can draw attention to your open container. This is especially the case if you are in an area that has laws against public consumption. The officers’ main concern is to ensure the safety of the public.

Conclusion

Whether you’re intoxicated or not, drinking alcohol while driving is extremely dangerous. And this is why Austin takes its laws on DWI so seriously. An open container violation can sometimes lead to serious consequences. As you can see, there are various ways in which you can make yourself vulnerable to an open container violation. This is why it’s very important to pay attention to the local laws.

What’s Implied Consent?

Implied Consent basically means that your consent to take part in blood and breathe testing is implied by virtue of you being a Texas Driver License holder. In other words, by lawfully driving in Texas you’ve consented to chemical testing like roadside Blood, Breath, and Blood Testing. Under this legal standard, refusing to participate in the sobriety testing process will result in the suspension of your TDL, and criminal charges for DWI which will land you in jail.

Penalties for refusing consent will lead to an ALR hearing and are separate from any penalties related to the originating offense.

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a form of auto insurance that’s usually requested by a judge or required by law after an incident of some kind. The purpose of SR-22 insurance is to guarantee that a motorist is insured as it certifies financial responsibility.

Basically, an SR-22 is liability insurance which, if cancelled, will prompt the insurance company to notify the State of Texas. To obtain SR-22 Insurance you’ll need to contact your insurance carrier.

What Does the SR in SR-22 Mean?

This is a great unknown. While the “SR” in SR-22 doesn’t signify any particular nomenclature (it’s just a document name), it’s fair to take the “SR” to mean “state required” because it is required by the State of Texas in every circumstance that it’s needed. In some of the other states the document is referred to as an FR-22 with the “FR” serving as an acronym for “Financial Responsibility”. We have not investigated the significance of the 22.

What Is The Cost of Fighting DWI Charges in Houston?

Costs vary from case to case, but are determined largely by the outcome of the case in the court of law. The good news is that you don’t have to concern yourself with the cost of court fees, court costs, or fines until after the case is finalized.

If convicted of DWI by a guilty finding of the court, or by entering a guilty plea, you’ll then be informed of what must be paid, why, and the cost. The court will require you to pay all fees associated with probation, any required DWI classes, and the cost of any chemical testing associated with your case.

Due to the TxDPS Driver Responsibility Program, you’ll also be forced by the State of Texas to pay surcharge fees if you ever intend to lawfully drive in Texas again. Whether the DWI occurred in or outside of Texas, you’ll have to pay either a $1,000.00 (1st DWI offense) or $1,500.00 (Subsequent DWI) surcharge every year for 3 years. If your Blood Alcohol Concentration was 0.16 or over, your surcharge will cost $2,500.00 per year for 3 years.

When taken together, surpassing $10,000.00 in costs is easily possible. If your drunk driving incident caused a car accident, you’ll be responsible for those costs as well.

Then there’s the matter of having to file for an SR-22. An SR-22 insurance policy could easily add a few thousand dollars to your yearly insurance costs, and that’s in addition to the regular premium increase which will occur if you’re convicted of the offense.

When considering the costs of legal defense fees, costs associated with posting bond, lost income when missing work for court, and vehicle storage lot & release fees, a Houston DWI can end up costing you thousands.

Fighting a Houston DWI charge is well worth the effort.