Open Container Law and Empties

Would it be a violation of the Open Container Law to have an empty bottle/can of beer found in your car after being pulled over?

It is in Texas YMMV

In SC, even an empty paper cup that had previously held an alcoholic beverage violates the Open Container Law.

What if you have an empty beer bottle that you’re bringing to be recycled?

In Illinois, the empties have to be in a part of the vehicle that is inaccessible from the passenger area, i.e., the trunk of the car. If you have a hatchback, you are in violation of the law. Unless you have a little mini-trunk thingy that locks. Them’s the rules.

Realistically, though, it’s up to the officer’s discretion. If you have a few six-packs full of empties in back, and you clearly aren’t intoxicated, you’re not likely to be found guilty of an open-container law. Any cop that’d charge you would get chewed out for wasting the local court’s time.

The previous posts indicate open container laws vary from State to State. So what State are you referring to for a more accurate answer?

IIRC (and I cannot remember the State, or if it still exists for that State), but a six-pack of beer with one can missing is classified as an open container, even if the other five cans are sealed.

The rule of thumb I was taught when transporting alcohol (or even empties) was to keep it in the trunk. That way, if involved in an accident causing bottles to break or cans to rupture, there is no “open container” in the passenger compartment the police can play games with you about.

I thought in Texas it was okay for passengers to have open containers? If not, then boy did we live dangerously then!

I don’t have a cite on it right now, but I think most of the states that had leagal “driving-n-sipping” did away with it due to pressure from the Federal Gov’mint.

First off, “clearly aren’t intoxicated” doesn’t mean one wasn’t drinking one of those empties. Any sign of drinking, even if not to the point of intoxication, will back up the charge of an open intoxicant violation.
Second, I know not where your from, but this idea that cops get chewed out for wasting the courts time is nonsense. It’s the D.A. that brings cases before the court, not the individual officer. If it’s a horseshit case, the D.A. won’t charge it in the first place.