Texas Penal Code, Chapter 49 – Intoxication and Beverage Offenses

Texas Penal Code, § 49.031.  POSSESSION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE IN MOTOR VEHICLE.

  1. In this section:
    1. "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.
    2. "Passenger area of a motor vehicle" means the area of a motor vehicle designed for the seating of the operator and passengers of the vehicle.  The term does not include:
      1. a glove compartment or similar storage container that is locked;
      2. the trunk of a vehicle;  or
      3. the area behind the last upright seat of the vehicle, if the vehicle does not have a trunk.
    3. "Public highway" means the entire width between and immediately adjacent to the boundary lines of any public road, street, highway, interstate, or other publicly maintained way if any part is open for public use for the purpose of motor vehicle travel.  The term includes the right-of-way of a public highway.
  2. A person commits an offense if the person knowingly possesses an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked.  Possession by a person of one or more open containers in a single criminal episode is a single offense.
  3. It is an exception to the application of Subsection (b) that at the time of the offense the defendant was a passenger in:
    1. (1) the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, including a bus, taxicab, or limousine;  or
    2. (2) the living quarters of a motorized house coach or motorized house trailer, including a self-contained camper, a motor home, or a recreational vehicle.
  4. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
  5. A peace officer charging a person with an offense under this section, instead of taking the person before a magistrate, shall issue to the person a written citation and notice to appear that contains the time and place the person must appear before a magistrate, the name and address of the person charged, and the offense charged.  If the person makes a written promise to appear before the magistrate by signing in duplicate the citation and notice to appear issued by the officer, the officer shall release the person.

Law Awards

Awards given to our attorneys for excellence.

Michael Burnett -

  • Recognized in 2008 and 2005 as a "Rising Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly.
  • A.V. Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Jeffrey David Miller -

  • Recognized in 2008 as a "Rising Star Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly Magazine.
  • Elected in 2008 as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Association.