open container laws in Texas

What do you want for Christmas? If it’s bail money, then maybe this blog is a little too late for you. But maybe it’s not too late for everyone else. Most people don’t drink and drive anymore. And why would you, with so many inexpensive rideshare services available now. But what about the open container that was sealed when you took it to that holiday or new year’s eve party? It’s only polite to bring a bottle of something. Perhaps someone opened it and now the seal is broken. But it’s not your host’s pick of poison. Maybe they’ll ask you if you want to take it with you, since it’s apparently your favorite. Would you? And, do you know your state’s current open container law?


When I moved to Texas in the late 1970’s, everyone in the car could possess an open container, even the driver. I thought you’d get a ticket if you didn’t drink and drive in Texas. The open container law evolved to where everyone in the car could possess an open container, except the driver. Thus, if being pulled over, the driver could just hand their drink over to a passenger. Then, later, it was okay as long as the open container wasn’t within reach of the driver. Heck, the drinking age then was 18 as well! Then it was raised to 19 for a few years, and eventually went back to 21 to purchase or drink alcohol.


If you do find yourself at that party and you are asked to bring that open container home with you, it is imperative that you put it in the trunk of your car (with a really long straw). If you happen to have a truck, it must be kept in the bed of the truck, preferably secured within a cooler or tool box. You may have an SUV or mini-van that does not have a trunk. Then you must keep it secured behind the last seat. I suppose, so it doesn’t roll around and break, hence, a cracked open container!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson

Writer / Comedienne / Artist

OPEN CONTAINER LAW – Comedy Defensive Driving