How many times have you cracked open a beer while en route to a sporting event with the intent to drink just one before you reach your destination. It is conceivable many drivers have done so during the course of a social sporting event. Unfortunately, Kansas law specifically prohibits transporting an open container of liquor or beer while driving. Under K.S.A. 8-1599, "alcoholic beverage" means any alcoholic liquor or any cereal malt beverage. The TOC law prohibits transporting these beverages unless such beverage is: 1) in the original unopened container with its original cap; 2) in the locked rear trunk or rear compartment (if no trunk, then must be behind last upright seat); or 3) in the exclusive possession of a passenger in a recreational vehicle (RV rule). TOC is a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum fine of $200 and a maximum jail sentence of six (6) months. While Judges seldom impose the jail provision, the law does require Judges to order a suspension of your license for one year following a second conviction of the statute. The suspension period of one year is the same penalty imposed on driver's who are arrested for DUI and who then refuse a breath test. TOC can not be compared to a DUI stop. Driving with an open beer is a much different act than driving under the influence and refusing to submit to breath testing. I would favor a law that mirrors the Missouri laws in this regard: open containers are allowed in the vehicle so long as the driver does not possess or have access to such beverages. The primary defense to this charge is that a passenger was in exclusive control of the container and the driver can submit to a preliminary breath test to show he or she was not drinking.
There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.
Leave a Comment