Welcome to our video. I have an interesting topic today and it can be a confusing topic and I’ll try and simplify it. It’s our open container law laws for alcohol in Ontario. And this is all set out in the Liquor License and Control Act. I mean, there’s got to be 116 different penalties and sections. I’m going to really simplify it for you. So first of all and I’m going to apply it to motor vehicles. I think we all know this that you cannot have open liquor in a motor vehicle that’s accessible to the drivers or passengers. You can’t drink in a motor vehicle obviously. And if you do, let’s say your passenger’s riding shot gun a lot of young people seem to do unfortunately having a roadie as they say the passenger the set fine is $100.00 according to the Liquor License and Control Act, and the driver is going to get fined $175.00 as well. But let’s say you’re transporting alcohol to a party obviously, or back from the LCBO, obviously, you can have it in a sealed container and bring in your home. If you go to a party with alcohol sealed which is fine and you leave the party I’m going to give you a little bit of advice first of all, have a designated driver on the way back and make sure the alcohol is secured in the trunk. The Liquor License and Control Act says that if it’s out of harm’s way in a sealed compartment whether that be in a boat or a motor vehicle that’s allowed under the Act. Okay, so that’s very important. But what does this lead to? I mean, if you get caught with open alcohol in your vehicle, and the police happen to stop you, it is going to lead to all sorts of other problems, not just that $175.00 fine for you and the passenger, it’s probably going to lead to DUI investigation and ask you to provide an ASD sample at the roadside even if you don’t have an odor of alcohol. And even if you say I wasn’t drinking, the police aren’t going to believe you and you may very well blow over after that party even though you aren’t that particularly drunk. So word to the wise on that point. So these are very complicated laws. There’s also you can’t drink in public with certain exceptions unless it’s a licensed establishment or whatnot. Those are laws under the Liquor License Act, with set fines etc. And basically, you can’t be drunk in a public place and cause a disturbance. Believe it or not, that’s an offence or the Criminal Code under section 175. Being drunk in a public place causing a disturbance of people around you could result in criminal offence, which is surprising because there’s probably people at bars like that every weekend in the cities that we practice law in across Ontario in Toronto, Windsor, London and Kitchener.
A lot of young people drunk at the bars causing disturbances in my view. But all kidding aside, it’s a very complicated quagmire of offences of 116 different offenses in the Liquor License and Control Act, but I tried to distill it down to what you need to know keep those open containers out of harm’s way in your trunk. If you have a big boat with a sealed compartment put it in there but certainly don’t be drinking or have open liquor on a boat or a motor vehicle that’s for sure.

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