Utah’s Alcohol Open Container Laws and Violation Penalties

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

As in most other states, Utah generally prohibits open containers of alcohol in vehicles. This article explains Utah's alcohol open container restrictions and the penalties you'll face for an open container ticket.

Utah's Rules for Open Container of Alcohol in Vehicles

Utah law prohibits any person from possessing or consuming an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle if:

  • the beverage is open or has a broken seal, or
  • the contents of the beverage have been partially removed.

Utah defines "alcoholic beverage" to include any beer, malt beverage, wine, distilled spirit, mixed drink, and other consumable beverage that has at least .5% alcohol. So, some non-alcoholic beers and mixers might be exempt.

Utah's Open Container Restrictions Apply to Everyone in the Vehicle

This restriction applies to all persons within the vehicle—including the driver and passengers.

Utah's Open Container Law Applies to Cars and Boats

In many states, open container restrictions are specific to cars, trucks, and other standard types of vehicles designed for driving on roadways. However, Utah's open container law applies to any vehicle or electric bicycle located on public highways or "waters of the state."

Exceptions to Utah's Alcohol Open Container Rule

Certain vehicles. Utah's open container law doesn't apply to passengers riding in certain types of vehicles, including statutorily authorized limousines and chartered buses. Riders inside the passenger areas of these vehicles are permitted to possess and consume alcohol. Passengers in taxis and public buses may also possess open containers but are prohibited from consumption.

Motor home or camper. Passengers located in the living quarters of a motor home or camper are exempt from open container restrictions.

Motorboat. While Utah's open container laws apply to all waters within the state, passengers aboard motorboats are permitted to possess and consume open containers.

Areas of the vehicle. Utah's open container laws are intended to apply to the passenger areas of the vehicle—meaning, open container restrictions aren't applicable to items in the trunk of the car or areas not accessible to the driver or passengers while the car is in motion.

Fines and Jail Time for Utah Open Container Violations

An open container violation is a class C misdemeanor in Utah. A conviction will result in a fine of up to $750 and a maximum jail sentence of 90 days.

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