Can you drink beer in a car if you’re not driving in California? The short answer to this question is: no. You may not legally drink in a motor vehicle, even if you are just a passenger. In fact, you can face criminal charges for this action.
Find out more about the penalties for drinking beer as a passenger in a motor vehicle right here. Consider some additional information about Los Angeles’s laws on driving under the influence (DUI) and learn about how you can get help on your side through the Simmrin Law Group.
Drinking in a Motor Vehicle Is Illegal in Los Angeles
Most drivers in Los Angeles are aware that they cannot drink alcohol and operate a motor vehicle. You may not know that it’s also illegal for passengers in a vehicle to consume alcohol. Passengers drinking a beer in a car may face charges under Vehicle Code Section 23221.
VC 23221 is often used to prosecute passengers who are drinking alcohol. However, this charge could also apply to drivers who are drinking alcohol if they are not over the legal limit. VC 23221 technically deals with drinking in a motor vehicle. However, you may also face VC 23221 charges if you are using marijuana in a vehicle.
Find out more about the specifics of VC 23221 charges from a lawyer in Los Angeles. Take charge of your case by calling (310) 997-4688.
The Outcomes of a Conviction for Drinking in a Vehicle
What happens if you are convicted of drinking beer in a car as a passenger? VC 23221 charges are generally treated as infractions. This means that you may only face a fine if you are convicted. Generally, the court uses a maximum fine of $250 for this offense.
However, you may face more serious consequences in some situations. For example, let’s say that you are under the age of 21. In this case, you would face different charges for drinking beer in a car you weren’t driving. You could face charges under Vehicle Code Section 23224.
VC 23224 charges are considered a misdemeanor charge. Convictions under VC 23224 may result in serious penalties, such as:
- Jail time of up to six months
- Fines of up to $1,000
You may also face restrictions on your driver’s license after a VC 23224 conviction. Note that you may face these restrictions even if you were not driving a vehicle while under the influence. Get help handling these charges right now.
Facts About Drinking Beer in a Parked Car
Sometimes, individuals end up sitting in a parked car to drink a beer. You may wonder if sitting in a parked car to drink is against the law in Los Angeles. Generally, you may sit in a car to have a drink as long as you are not planning to drive.
However, police officers may become suspicious if they find people drinking alcohol around a vehicle. They may suspect that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence before you stopped. They may check to see if:
- The keys are in the ignition.
- The engine is warm.
- You are in the driver’s seat.
You could end up facing criminal charges for a DUI in some situations. Police officers may argue that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence. In this situation, it’s important that you reach out to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles for help.
Build a Defense for Criminal Charges with a DUI Lawyer
You can face a number of different charges for drinking beer as a passenger in a car. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to help you handle these accusations. Your lawyer can work to get your charges dismissed in some situations.
In other cases, a lawyer may work to get your charges reduced. Some charges are reduced through a plea bargain in Los Angeles. Other cases go all the way to court, where they are decided in front of a judge and jury. Your lawyer can review your case to provide you with personalized legal assistance.
Speak to a Lawyer if You Drank Beer in a Car You Weren’t Driving
You are not legally permitted to drink beer in a car you’re not driving in California. You may face criminal charges for consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle regardless of your status as a passenger. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help you handle these accusations. You can reach out to us right now. Just call (310) 997-4688. You can also complete our online contact form.
Start working on your legal case right now with a free consultation.