Carrying an open container in public is against the law in Ohio. An open container charge is a commonly occurring criminal offense that happens on a daily basis. During Ohio State football games tickets for open container violations are handed out routinely.
An open container violation can be defined according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 4301.62) as anyone in possession of an open container of alcohol if any of the following situations are applicable:
- It occurs in a store that sells alcohol unless the alcohol was a sample;
- Any venue that has a license to serve alcohol unless any of the following circumstances are applicable:o It has authorization to sell alcohol that can be drank immediately;
- It has authorization to serve alcoholic beverages;
- It is a convention center;
- It is a sample of alcohol;
- It is a music festival;
- It is an outdoor performing arts venue
- It occurs in any other kind of public place;
- It occurs in a moving or parked vehicle, regardless of whether you are the driver or passenger, unless you are riding in a limousine and you are in the back.
In addition to the stated definition of an open container violation, it is also illegal to carry previously opened bottles of alcohol anywhere except for the trunk of your vehicle.
If you are convicted of an open container offense, you will face a minor misdemeanor charge. This entails a fine of up to $150.
If you are convicted of consuming alcohol in a vehicle, you will face a fourth degree misdemeanor. This will entail up to 30 days in prison and a fine of up to $250.