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Did you know that you may be charged with an “open container” crime if a bottle or can of alcohol is in the “passenger area”? You could potentially be charged, even if you are not drinking alcohol.

Additionally, both the driver and passengers in the vehicle can be charged with an infraction, if there is an open container as well. Keep in mind that a golf cart is a motor vehicle under North Carolina law.

If you must keep the opened alcohol, “the area of the trunk or the area behind the last upright back seat of a station wagon, hatchback, or similar vehicle shall not be considered part of the passenger area,” according to North Carolina law.

While it may sound like an inconvenience, a new bottle of Canadian Whiskey is only $25. A Class 3 Misdemeanor may include court costs of nearly $190, community service fees of $250, a fine of up to $200, traveling for your court date, Wilmington attorney fees, and the impact of a conviction on your record.

In conclusion: alcohol is cheap, but an open container citation is not.