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Can I Get a DWI if a Passenger in My Car is Drinking?

It is important that even a passenger in a vehicle knows that it is unlawful to consume alcohol in a moving car. To learn more about the results of a violation of New Jersey’s open container laws, reach out to our experienced Bergen County criminal defense attorneys.

Can I be charged if a passenger in my car is drinking?

In New Jersey, alcohol-related offenses include consuming alcohol while driving, also known as a DWI, and driving with an open container. The law covering this states that it is illegal for any driver or passenger of a car to have an open or unsealed alcoholic beverage in a moving vehicle unless it is found in the trunk. Additionally, the law states that it is unlawful for anyone in a car to drink alcohol while the car is moving. Even in the case that no one in the car is drinking, passengers or a driver can still be found guilty of breaking New Jersey’s open container laws if there are opened bottles or cans of alcohol in a car.

It is in your best interest to reach out to our firm today to learn more about New Jersey’s open container laws. Our legal team has years of experience in this field and is ready to fight for you and your rights. Just give us a call today.

What are the consequences of an open container law in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s open container law violations are strictly enforced. As a result, if a person is found to be violating these laws, the following consequences may result:

  • First offense: A fine of $200 and court surcharges
  • Second offense: A fine of $250 or 10 days of community service and court surcharges
  • Third and fourth offenses: Increased fines and penalties

While a fine of less than $300 may not seem like a large penalty, it is important to understand that like many other violations, there are long-term consequences that can linger even after you have paid your fines. When it comes to a New Jersey open container violation, the real impact is the presence of this conviction on your driving record that can later negatively affect many things including your insurance rates to any future encounters with the police.

Do not wait to reach out to our firm today if you have any questions or concerns about the consequences of this conviction. Our dedicated Bergen County criminal defense attorneys are on your side.


Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.

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