Alaska's Open Container Law and Violation Penalties

Learn about the penalties for an open container conviction in Alaska.

As in most states, Alaska prohibits driving with an open container of alcohol in your vehicle. This article covers the specifics of Alaska's open container law, including the exceptions and penalties you'll face for an open container violation.

Alaska's Open Container Law

Generally, Alaska's open container law prohibits driving on a public highway or roadway with an open container of alcohol in the "passenger compartment" of the vehicle.

Can You Have an Open Alcohol Container in a Parked Car in Alaska?

In some states, it's illegal to possess an open container in a vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle is in motion.

However, in Alaska, you can get an open container violation only if you're actually driving the vehicle.

What Is Considered an Open Container Under Alaska Law?

Under Alaska law, an open container is defined as an alcoholic beverage with a broken seal.

Does Alaska Law Allow Open Containers in any Part of the Vehicle?

Alaska's open container prohibition applies only to the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The passenger compartment is the area normally occupied by the driver and passengers and includes a utility or glove compartment accessible to the driver or a passenger while the motor vehicle is being operated.

Exceptions to Alaska's Open Container Law

Alaska's open container law doesn't apply if the alcoholic beverage is:

  • in the original unopened container with an unbroken seal
  • locked in the trunk
  • in another enclosed container behind the seat of a trunkless vehicle or motorcycle, or
  • behind a solid partition that separates the driver from the passenger area.

Also, the open container law doesn't apply to statutorily authorized for-hire buses (capacity of 12 or more people) where the alcohol isn't accessible to the driver.

Penalties for an Open Container Ticket in Alaska

An open container violation is an infraction in Alaska. A conviction will result in a fine of up to $300 but is not considered a criminal offense and will not result in jail time. A conviction also carries two points against the motorist's driving record, which can lead to other penalties, including license suspension.

Open Container in Commercial Vehicles in Alaska

The exemptions listed above do not apply to commercial vehicles. A commercial vehicle driver is not allowed to have any alcohol within the vehicle unless part of the documented cargo.

A commercial vehicle violation will result in a fine up to $500, a maximum 90 days in jail, and possible license suspension/revocation. Additionally, the officer will issue an out-of-service order along with the citation, immediately prohibiting the licensee from driving for the next 24 hours.

Talk to a DUI Defense attorney
We've helped 115 clients find attorneys today.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please enter a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please enter a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Please enter a valid Case Description
Description is required

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you