I got a ticket for transporting an open container of alcohol. What are the possible penalties?

by Lewis Gainor on March 3, 2010

Open Container Illinois

Transportation of an open container of alcohol in Illinois is a petty offense punishable by fine only. Most petty offenses in the Illinois Vehicle Code have a maximum fine of $1,000.

The offense is governed by 625 ILCS 5/11-502. That statute provides that it is unlawful to transport, carry, or possess any alcoholic liquor within the passenger compartment of the car unless it is in the original container and the seal is unbroken.

The only exception is for limos and chartered buses. In this case, the passengers but not the driver may have open containers.

A ticket for transportation of an open container of alcoholic liquor that results in a conviction may suspend the defendant’s driver’s license. The rule is, for drivers 21 years of age or older, two convictions within one year results in a suspension.

Illinois has a Zero Tolerance Law for drivers underage. If the driver is younger than 21 years old, then two issues arise: 1) possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor results in a Zero Tolerance Suspension; and 2) a ticket for transportation of an open container of alcohol may result in a driver’s license revocation.

For minors, two convictions for transportation of an open container of alcohol will result in a driver’s license revocation.

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