Illegal Transportation of Alcohol, Open Alcohol
As one of the leading DUI lawyers in Illinois and the United States, James Dimeas has handled thousands of DUI cases involving alcohol. It is fairly common for a client charged with a DUI to also be charged with the Illegal Transportation of Alcohol. These charges are commonly known as "open alcohol cases". Cases involving open alcohol and the Illegal Transportation of Alcohol, frequently turn into DUI cases.
Under ILCS 5/11-502, it is illegal for the driver of any motor vehicle to transport, carry, possess, or have any open alcohol container in the passenger compartment of any vehicle operating on a public highway in Illinois. Open alcohol includes any alcoholic beverage such as beer, wine, champagne, and liquor. Whether you actually consumed the alcohol is irrelevant to a criminal charge of open alcohol, Illegal Transportation of Alcohol. The law regarding open alcohol and the Illegal Transportation of Alcohol applies to the presence of the container and does not depend on whether the alcohol was consumed by the driver or the passengers in the motor vehicle.
How Can You Legally Transport Alcohol in Your Car?
Generally, there's two ways that you can legally transport alcohol in your vehicle. The first is if the bottles of alcohol are in your trunk. Open alcohol illegal transportation of alcohol cases require that the alcohol bottles are found inside the passenger compartment of the motor vehicle. If you want to transport the alcohol inside the passenger compartment, the alcohol must be in the original container that it was in when it was sold and the lid, or cap, cannot be opened or exposed. If you want to transport a bottle of alcohol that has been opened, you must put it in the trunk of your vehicle or else you will be violating Illinois Law regarding the Illegal Transportation of Alcohol.
The Illinois, the Open Alcohol, Illegal Transportation of Alcohol statute requires that at least some alcohol be present in the bottle. If the can or bottle is completely empty, without any trace of alcohol, that may be a basis for challenging a charge for Illegal Transportation of Alcohol.
Another way to challenge a charge for Open Alcohol, Illegal Transportation of Alcohol, is if the vehicle was not on a public road. In other words, the vehicle must be on a public roadway and not a private road or private property in order to be charged with Illegal Transportation of Alcohol.
The second way to legally transport alcohol in a vehicle is to possess open alcohol in a passenger area of a limousine, charter bus, motorhome, or party bus. The law requires that any alcohol in a limousine, or similar vehicle, must be separated from the driver of the vehicle by a partition separating the driver from the passengers.
What Are the Penalties For Illegal Transportation of Alcohol, Open Alcohol?
Most first time Possession of Open Alcohol, Illegal Transportation of Alcohol cases are charged as a petty offense which carry a fine of up to $1,000. If you were the driver of the vehicle, a charge of Open Alcohol, Illegal Transportation of Alcohol, can have a serious impact on your insurance premiums. If you were under the age of 21 at the time of the Illegal Transportation of Alcohol violation, your license will be suspended for 12 months if you are convicted of Illegal Transportation of Alcohol. If you are over the age of 21 and you are convicted of a second offense for Illegal Transportation of Alcohol, you will be facing a mandatory suspension of your driver's license. If you are convicted of a third offense of Illegal Transportation of Alcohol within 12 months of the second offense, your license will be revoked by the Illinois Secretary of State.
You Need an Award-Winning DUI Lawyer to Protect Your License
Chicago DUI lawyer, James Dimeas, has been fighting Open Alcohol and Illegal Transportation of Alcohol cases for over-29 years. James Dimeas has been winning cases and saving his clients from losing their licenses for alcohol offenses. James Dimeas has a thorough understanding of the DUI laws and the Open Alcohol and Illegal Transportation of Alcohol laws and cases. James Dimeas has perfected the proper court procedures to win these cases and to challenge every aspect of a DUI, Open Alcohol, and Illegal Transportation of Alcohol case. James Dimeas has been trained to understand the proper legal steps for the police to make a DUI and Illegal Transportation of Alcohol case stick and to break down the actions of the police officers to prove that the proper and legal steps were not taken so as to win the case and have the charges dismissed.
Hire a Highly-Experienced Lawyer for Your Illegal Transportation, Open Alcohol Case
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, DUI lawyer, with over-29 years of experience handling DUI and Illegal Transportation of Alcohol cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois for the years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021” by the American Society of Legal Advocates. James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney”, a “Best DUI Lawyer in Schaumburg”, and a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise. James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois”. James Dimeas is rated ‘Superb’ by AVVO, 10 out of 10, the highest rating possible for any DUI lawyer in the United States. The American Society of Criminal Law Attorneys named James Dimeas a ’10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois.”
If you are charged with Illegal Transportation of Alcohol, or Open Alcohol, or a DUI, you can contact James Dimeas for a free and confidential consultation. You can speak to James Dimeas personally by calling 847-807-7405.