Kansas Open Container Laws and Ticket Penalties

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

Like most other states, Kansas has an open container law that prohibits transporting open containers of alcohol in a motor vehicle. This article explains Kansas's open container restrictions and the violation penalties.

Kansas's Open Container Law

Kansas law prohibits any person from transporting an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle unless it is:

  • in the original unopened container, with an unbroken seal
  • locked in the trunk, or
  • on a statutorily authorized RV or for-hire bus and not accessible to the driver.

This restriction applies to all persons within the car, including the driver and passengers.

Open Container Violation Penalties in Kansas

In many states, an open container violation is just a traffic infraction and carries only a fine. However, in Kansas, an open container violation is a misdemeanor. The penalties for a conviction depend on the circumstances, including whether the person has prior open container violations.

Fines and Jail Time for Kansas Open Container Violations

An open container violation is a misdemeanor in Kansas. A conviction will result in a fine of up to $200 and a maximum of six months in jail. And violators who are under 21 years old will also be required to complete an alcohol and drug evaluation and follow any recommended treatment.

License Suspension for Open Container Violations in Kansas

In addition to the other penalties, a person who receives a second open container conviction within a five-year period faces a one-year license suspension. However, the court does have the discretion to reduce the suspension to a one-year "restricted" license. With a restricted license, the judge gets to dictate the terms—including when and where—under which the licensee is permitted to drive.

Plea Bargaining in Kansas Open Container Cases

If you get charged with possessing an open container in Kansas, it is possible to plea to a lesser charge or to enter into a diversion agreement. However, such plea deals are at the sole discretion of the prosecutor and are not guaranteed. Talk to a criminal defense attorney about your options.

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