Depending on where you are, you could face criminal charges for carrying an open container in Nevada. We discuss the definition of an open container as well the details of the crime below.
Definition of an Open Container
An “open container” is an alcoholic container or beverage with a broken or open seal. Examples of an open container of alcohol include:
- An open bottle of wine, even if the cork is put back
- A liquor bottle, or twist-cap beer, with an unscrewed cap or broken seal
- An opened can or bottle of beer
- A yard glass, flask, or cup that was never intentionally sealed
Walking with an Open Container of Alcohol
Local jurisdictions regulate whether or not you can walk with an open container of alcohol in public.
In the case of Las Vegas, it is completely legal to walk along the strip with an open container. In Downtown Vegas, however, it is illegal to carry or walk with an open container within 1,000 feet of a school, place of worship, hospital, or licensed liquor store. Additionally, if you are at a bus stop, you may not have an open container of alcohol.
In other areas of Nevada, such as Reno, walking with open containers is much more restricted. In most instances, except for special events, it is illegal to carry an open container in a public area.
If you are carrying an open container in a prohibited area, you could face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Driving with an Open Container of Alcohol
Unlike walking with an open container, driving with an open container is a crime throughout Nevada. The law excludes the following cases from prosecution:
- Living quarters of travel trailers or RVs
- Limos, taxis, or shuttles in which fare is paid and only the passengers are carrying open containers
- Trunks (or if not available, glove compartments) in Las Vegas only
Nevada laws against driving with an open container are extremely binding. As a result, lack of awareness of the container is not a viable defense. For example, if your friend left their half-empty beer in the back seat of your car and a police officer pulls you over, the officer could arrest you for driving with an open container.
These charges are typically misdemeanors punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and 6 months in jail, but can escalate depending on your previous criminal history. You can additionally face DUI charges if you appear to be driving under the influence, or if your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of .08%.
If You Are Facing Open Carry Charges, Contact Turco & Draskovich.
Open container laws can be confusing and highly specific. Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers stay up to date on all the details of these laws and have the knowledge to build a solid defense for your charges. We have more than 20 years of experience and have handled more than 10,000 combined cases.
Discuss your charges with our legal team at Turco & Draskovich: (702) 381-6590.