2015 ORS 811.170¹
Violation of open container law
  • penalty

(1) A person commits the offense of violation of the open container law in a motor vehicle if the person does any of the following:

(a) Drinks any alcoholic liquor in a motor vehicle when the vehicle is upon a highway.

(b) Possesses on ones person, while in a motor vehicle upon a highway, any bottle, can or other receptacle containing any alcoholic liquor, which has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

(c) Keeps in a motor vehicle when the vehicle is upon any highway, any bottle, can or other receptacle containing any alcoholic liquor, which has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed. The following apply to this paragraph:

(A) This paragraph applies only to the registered owner of any motor vehicle or, if the registered owner is not then present in the vehicle, to the driver of the vehicle.

(B) This paragraph does not apply if the bottle, can or other receptacle is kept in the trunk of the vehicle, or kept in some other area of the vehicle not normally occupied by the driver or passengers if the vehicle is not equipped with a trunk.

(C) For purposes of this paragraph, a utility compartment or glove compartment is considered within the area occupied by the driver and passengers.

(D) This paragraph does not apply to the living quarters of a camper or motor home.

(2) The offense described in this section does not apply to passengers in a motor vehicle operated by a common carrier and used primarily to carry passengers for hire.

(3) The offense described in this section, violation of the open container law in a motor vehicle, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §597; 1985 c.16 §303; 2001 c.827 §10]

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute

Ability to identify beer is within common experience, and thus police of­fi­cers testimony that contents of labeled beer bottle appeared and smelled like beer was sufficient to allow factfinder to infer that it was in fact beer. City of Gladstone v. Leonard, 33 Or App 169, 575 P2d 1012 (1978)

Under this sec­tion, the of­fense as well as the pro­ce­dure has been decrim­i­nalized, so pros­e­cu­­tions are not crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­­tions, and due process guarantees of U.S. Constitu­tion do not apply. State v. Vance, 53 Or App 290, 631 P2d 843 (1981)

In General

Officer had probable cause to believe passenger in viola­tion where open bottle of beer was on floor of car near feet of passenger. State v. Garza, 104 Or App 350, 801 P2d 350 (1990), Sup Ct review denied

Chapter 811

See also annota­tions under ORS chapter 483 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute

A party in viola­tion of a motor vehicle statute is neg­li­gent as a matter of law unless he introduces evidence from which the trier of fact could find that he was acting as a reasonably prudent per­son under the circumstances. Barnum v. Williams, 264 Or 71, 504 P2d 122 (1972)

Law Review Cita­tions

Under Former Similar Statute

10 WLJ 207 (1974)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 811—Rules of the Road for Drivers, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors811.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 811, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano811.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.