Open Container Charges In Las Vegas, NV
In Nevada, it is generally against the law to consume alcohol and possess open containers of alcohol in motor vehicles. The open container laws in Las Vegas apply to both drivers and passengers. However, there are some exceptions that allow passengers to have open containers in certain types and areas of vehicles. We’ll detail the specifics of open container laws in Las Vegas and how they may affect you. If you’re facing alcohol-related charges like drinking and driving, intoxication in public, or disorderly conduct, the Spartacus Law Firm can help. Contact our criminal defense attorney today for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Understanding Nevada Open Container Laws
It is illegal for a driver or anyone in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle to drink an alcoholic beverage while on a highway. This also includes passengers possessing open containers of alcohol in the passenger area of the vehicle.
Once you break the seal of an alcohol container, it is considered open. This means that the packaging has been tampered with and anyone can access the contents without having to further damage the container. Examples of items that would be considered “open containers” include the following:
- A can of beer that’s been cracked open
- Uncorked wine
- A glass bottle of beer with the cap off
- Pouring shots from a bottle of hard alcohol
- Alcohol poured into a water bottle or flask
Exceptions To Open Container Laws
While there are strict open container laws in Las Vegas, there are a few exceptions to the rule. If you or someone you know is facing charges related to an open container violation, it’s essential that you contact a criminal defense attorney in Paradise, NV as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can review your case and help develop a strong defense strategy. One circumstance in which carrying an open container of alcohol is not illegal in Las Vegas is if the passenger owns the car. According to state law, passengers can possess an open container under the following conditions:
- The open container is in the passenger area of a car that’s used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, and
- The open container is in the living area of a “house coach or house trailer.”
Areas Within A Vehicle That Can Have An Open Container In Nevada
While the open container laws in Las Vegas, NV don’t have a specific exception for areas where you can lawfully place an open container of alcohol, it does prohibit possession in the “passenger area.” This means that anywhere the driver and passengers seat themselves is off-limits. However, the law implies that you are allowed to put open containers of alcohol in other places such as the trunk.
Having an Open Container In A Car in Las Vegas
In Nevada, it is against the law for either passengers or drivers to have any open containers of alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle. This includes if the container is out of reach, no one is drinking from it, or if the driver has zero blood alcohol. Unlawfully driving a motor vehicle with an open container is a misdemeanor in Nevada. This means that individuals charged with this crime can face up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail. If the vehicle was in a work zone or pedestrian safety zone when the offense occurred, these penalties can double. The court may also require those who violate this law to perform community service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Drink Alcohol In Public In Las Vegas?
In Nevada, state law does not make drinking in public or being intoxicated criminally punishable. Local laws about where open containers may be consumed vary from city to city, however. For example, some cities prohibit consumption on certain streets or parks. The open container laws in Las Vegas can depend on where you’re at, that’s why if you’re facing criminal charges it’s imperative that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer because there may be an opportunity to reduce or mitigate the charges.
Can I Have An Open Container On The Las Vegas Strip?
It is legal to carry an open container of alcohol while walking along the Las Vegas Strip; however, as of 2014, Las Vegas prohibits carrying alcoholic drinks in glass containers. No beverage, including non-alcoholic ones, can be carried in a glass container on the Strip. The purpose of this regulation is twofold: to reduce glass on the ground and protect pedestrians from potential injuries. However, carrying open containers of alcohol are still allowed as long they are in paper cups, aluminum cans, or plastic cups.
In Las Vegas, not only is it illegal to drink in public parks without a special event permit, but you’re also not allowed to carry an open alcohol container in parking lots or within 1,000 feet of where you purchased the alcohol if it’s in a closed container.
Can I Bring Alcohol Into A Casino In Las Vegas?
While nothing legally stops someone from bringing their own alcoholic beverages into a Las Vegas casino so long as it’s in a paper or plastic container, the casino is likely to object to outside drinks. This is because their clubs, restaurants, and bars are licensed to sell alcohol, and outside drinks ultimately cut down on their sales.
Can Passengers Drink Alcohol In A Car In Las Vegas?
In Las Vegas, you are allowed to have open containers in the living quarters of a house coach or house trailer. Although this is prohibited on public transportation, it is permitted in the passenger areas commercial vehicles like:
- Town cars
- Tour buses
- Party Buses
- Taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts
Strict laws regulating open containers in vehicles apply to commercial transportation companies, but Uber and Lyft occupy a legal grey area since their vehicles were not designed for that. The general consensus is that you cannot drink openly in them. Even if mostly used for carrying people from one place to another, they technically don’t fit the description of a “commercial transportation vehicle.
Open Container Charges In Nevada? We Can Help
In Nevada, police are always on the lookout for people breaking alcohol-related laws. Because there is so much drinking that goes on in Las Vegas and along the Strip, it’s important to understand the open container laws in Las Vegas and what you can and cannot do before heading out for a night of fun. If you do happen to get accused of an offense related to alcohol, contact the Spartacus Law Firm right away.
If you have been arrested for an alcohol-related offense in Las Vegas – such as an out-of-state DUI, or disorderly conduct – you need experienced legal representation to defend your case. At the Spartacus Law Firm, we offer free case evaluations so that you can determine your best course of action. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’ve been detained or fined due to drinking on the Strip – you have rights, and we can help.