Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Open Container (Transportation or possession of alcoholic liquor in a motor vehicle) Charges in Illinois

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Illinois DUI/Traffic Law » Open Container (Transportation or possession of alcoholic liquor in a motor vehicle) Charges in Illinois

In Illinois, it is crime to possess an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, under 625 ILCS 5/11-502:


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(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), no driver may transport, carry, possess or have any alcoholic liquor within the passenger area of any motor vehicle upon a highway in this State except in the original container and with the seal unbroken.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), no passenger may carry, possess or have any alcoholic liquor within any passenger area of any motor vehicle upon a highway in this State except in the original container and with the seal unbroken.
(c) This Section shall not apply to the passengers in a limousine when it is being used for purposes for which a limousine is ordinarily used, the passengers on a chartered bus when it is being used for purposes for which chartered buses are ordinarily used or on a motor home or mini motor home as defined in Section 1-145.01 of this Code. However, the driver of any such vehicle is prohibited from consuming or having any alcoholic liquor in or about the driver’s area. Any evidence of alcoholic consumption by the driver shall be prima facie evidence of such driver’s failure to obey this Section. For the purposes of this Section, a limousine is a motor vehicle of the first division with the passenger compartment enclosed by a partition or dividing window used in the for-hire transportation of passengers and operated by an individual in possession of a valid Illinois driver’s license of the appropriate classification pursuant to Section 6-104 of this Code.
(d) (Blank).
(e) Any driver who is convicted of violating subsection (a) of this Section for a second or subsequent time within one year of a similar conviction shall be subject to suspension of driving privileges as provided, in paragraph 23 of subsection (a) of Section 6-206 of this Code.
(f) Any driver, who is less than 21 years of age at the date of the offense and who is convicted of violating subsection (a) of this Section or a similar provision of a local ordinance, shall be subject to the loss of driving privileges as provided in paragraph 13 of subsection (a) of Section 6-205 of this Code and paragraph 33 of subsection (a) of Section 6-206 of this Code.

Illinois open container law violations can lead to a driver’s license suspension when there are repeat convictions within a 1 year time period.  Drivers who are under 21 year of age and who are convicted of violating the open container law in Illinois also receive a driver’s license suspension.

There are exceptions to the open container law in Illinois that allows passengers in a limo or a chartered bus to have open containers (and drink alcohol).


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