April 19, 2015
An Open Container Can Mean an Open and Shut MIP Case
DUI or MIP charges are extremely serious. Young adults are just starting out, and that DUI or MIP conviction has a way of sticking with them. Sometimes it’s possible to have the record expunged or sealed, but there can still be many undesirable outcomes like sizable fines and time spent in a juvenile detention facility. Some students may even find that their educational goals are jeopardized by their brush with the law.
Open Container Dangers
The consequences of being charged with a DUI or even an MIP are often highlighted by the media. However, the laws regarding having an open containter in the car typically don’t get the same kind of attention. It’s important to realize that DUI, MIP and open container charges frequently go together, especially around the time of prom or high school graduation.
Because less emphasis is placed on open container laws, the subject rather gets swept under the rug. That’s unfortunate, because too many young people don’t understand how much trouble they can get into simply for riding in a car when there is an open container.
Minors and Open Container Laws
Most states have an open container law that sometimes comes into play when an officer pulls over a driver on suspicion of a DUI. The driver may be asked to undergo field sobriety testing that may include a breathalyzer test. Moreover, they’ll be asked for identification which, if it reveals the driver to be underage, may lead to the addition of MIP charges. Those MIP charges only get exacerbated if there is an open containter in the vehicle. Passengers who were not operating the vehicle may still be charged with MIP and an open container violation just for being in the car.
Even without DUI charges that passenger can find themselves in a great deal of legal trouble. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced DUI lawyer protecting a defendant’s rights when it comes to open container laws.
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