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Cincinnati Open Container Law

Charged with an open container violation? Call LHA at (513) 338-1890 to schedule a free consultation.

Carrying an open container in public is against the law in Cincinnati. 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: It has authorization to sell alcohol that can be drunk 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 in your vehicle except the trunk.

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.

Facing criminal charges? Contact a Cincinnati alcohol crimes lawyer today.

Though they seem minor, open container charges can result in penalties like fines, jail time, and a mark on your criminal record. We can help. Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer Brad Groene has handled criminal charges ranging from minor alcohol offenses to violent crimes. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation at (513) 338-1890 or email us at

Bradley Groene made an exceptionally difficult situation much easier to handle. He kept me informed of everything that was going to happen and got results for my case far better than I could have hoped for. I would highly recommend him for anyone who finds themselves in legal troubles.