Three Strategies To Avoid An Open Container Charge When Traveling By Motorhome
Gathering up your family and perhaps even some friends and taking a road trip in a motorhome can be an experience that is rewarding and memorable. By using this method of transportation, you'll appreciate the cost savings and conveniences that it provides. For example, while one person drives, another can prepare a meal and the passengers can enjoy eating it while traveling. If you'll be drinking in your motorhome during your various stops, you want to be sure that you don't end up in a situation in which you're later stopped by the police and given a citation for having an open container of alcohol. Here are some strategies to avoid this charge.
Get Rid Of Empty Bottles
Perhaps you've pulled into an RV park for the night and have had a few bottles of beer, wine or spirits while you relax. Before you hit the road the following morning, it's a good idea to recycle or discard these bottles. You don't want to be caught driving with open bottles of alcohol, especially if they have small amounts of alcohol left in them. While you'd need to fail a Breathalyzer test to get charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you could still potentially receive a vacation-dampening charge for having an open container in your vehicle.
Keep Them Stored Away
Sometimes, it might not be appropriate to toss your alcohol bottles after you've been drinking. For example, if you have a bottle of wine or liquor that is still mostly full, you'll likely want to keep it with you. Plan to place the bottle in a secure location in the motorhome. Keeping it in the fridge sends a message to any officer who has stopped you that it's being stored, rather than you're drinking from it. If there's a locking cabinet in the vehicle, this is an even better choice for storing the bottle.
Don't Draw Attention To Yourself
For a police officer to charge you with an open container, he or she first has to conduct a traffic stop based on probable cause. Often, this probable cause comes because the officer has observed you swerving. Make an effort to always obey the rules of the road. A motorhome can be a little more challenging to drive than a regular car, so keep your speeds well below the limit and don't let others distract you while you're driving. Regardless of whether you're carrying open containers, you're unlikely to have a run-in with the police if you don't give them a reason to stop you. In the event of a charge for an open container, find out here how an attorney can help you.