Subject to some exceptions, Arkansas prohibits possessing open containers of alcohol in a motor vehicle. This article provides an overview of Arkansas's open container law and the penalties for a violation.
Until recently, Arkansas was one of a handful of states that didn't have an open container law. But in 2017, lawmakers made open containers in vehicles illegal. This law prohibits possessing an open container of alcohol in:
However, the open container law applies only if the vehicle is located on a highway or public right of way.
An alcoholic beverage is defined as:
Under this definition, even non-alcohol beer could lead to an open container ticket.
An open container is defined as any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any amount of alcoholic beverage that is open, has a broken seal, or has had the contents partially removed.
An open container of alcohol can be lawfully possessed in:
If the vehicle doesn't have a trunk, an open container of alcohol can be behind the last upright seat or in an area not typically occupied by a driver or passenger.
Generally, the open container law applies to both drivers and passengers. However, passengers can possess an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation. And passengers can possess an open container in a motor home, house trailer, or other recreational vehicle if:
Violation of Arkansas's open container law is a Class C misdemeanor. The maximum penalties are 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.