Traffic Tip: Open container law explained

By David Brogger
Dec. 29, 2013 at 6:29 a.m.
Updated Dec. 30, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.

This week's traffic tip deals with open container laws.

Why this specific code, and how does it relate to driving in Victoria?

I've had the question asked many times: "What does the law say is an open container?"

A person commits an open container violation if he or she knowingly has an open container in a passenger area of a vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked.

According to Texas Penal Code 49.031, an open container means a bottle, can or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage and that is open, that has been opened, that has a broken seal or the contents of which are partially removed.

Passenger area means the area designed for the seating of the operator and passengers of the vehicle. The term does not include a locked glove compartment or similar container, vehicle trunk or the area behind the last upright seat if the vehicle does not have a trunk.

Well, I hope this answers your questions.

The Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit invites citizens to inform us of any traffic issues that you observe. The easiest way to do this is go to our website,, then go to the VPD Customer Service Request tab in the center of the page and follow the directions.

If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Police Officer David Brogger, Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit at 361-485-3700.



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