Houston DWIs, Texas Law & Open Container Violation

No matter what state you live in, driving under the influence is strictly prohibited. And Texas is no exception to the rule. Not only does this state make it illegal to drive while under the influence of a substance, but it’s also among those that make it illegal for both drivers and passengers to have open containers of alcohol in their vehicles. This is what’s referred to as the open container violation. Let’s take a moment to discuss who’s liable for the open container, exceptions, and the penalties that come along with it. But first, let’s define this violation.

Texas Open Container Violations Defined

A Prosecutable DWI Offense in Houston

If you possess an open container of alcohol in the passenger side of your vehicle, then you’re committing an open container violation. And you can be cited even if your vehicle isn’t in motion. In this case, the term ‘open’ means that the seal of your alcoholic beverage has been broken or that some of its contents have been removed.

Who’s Liable for the Open Container?

Who gets to go to the Harris County Jail?

When it comes to liability, typically the person who’s held responsible is the individual who is in actual possession of the beverage. There are cases in which none of the individuals in the car will admit that the container is theirs. In this scenario, the officer will find it difficult to who actually owns it. This may lead to their assuming that the person closest to, or within reach of, the container is the owner. There are also times in which the officer may cite more than one person for a single container. If this is the case, then those arrested will need legal representation. Not any lawyer, but a skilled criminal defense lawyer like one lawyer who was recommended on Reddit as the best DWI lawyer in Houston.

The Exceptions

An Open Container May Not Result in the Driver’s Arrest

In most instances, open container restrictions only apply to the passenger areas of the vehicle. These areas may be occupied or within reach of the passenger or driver.

What this means is that you could legally place an open container in the trunk of your vehicle without being fined. If the vehicle doesn’t have a trunk, then it may be acceptable for the open container to be behind the last row of seats. There are also exceptions when it comes to motorhomes, limousines, and party buses.

The Penalties

Consequences for an Open Container Violation

The penalties for an open container violation are usually far less serious than that of DUI convictions. In most cases, the fine that is imposed is small to moderate—typically $100 or less. There are very few cases that result in jail time.

The Takeaway

Open container violations apply to individuals who have open containers of alcohol within reach of the drivers or passengers. The person who assumes liability for this violation is the one that has it in their possession or is closest to the container, although there is always a chance that more than one person could be fined for the same container. The only exceptions are when the container is out of reach of the river and passengers or the vehicle serves as a living space or vehicle for hire. Typically, the fine for an open container violation is less than $100 and this violation rarely results in imprisonment.

Private Investigators & Criminal Investigations

Criminal defense lawyers are tasked with making a strong argument for their clients to absolve them from the alleged crimes. It is their role to make a watertight defense for their clients by collecting enough evidence that creates a sound basis for reasonable. Although the police help in finding witnesses to a crime scene and putting the suspect at the center of the crime, defense lawyers use private investigators to get critical missing witnesses or evidence to weaken the prosecution’s argument.

A private investigator gets more evidence showing that the defendant is not responsible for the alleged crime. Defense law firms employ private detectives who work undercover on most cases, to unearth the key details about the offense. They look for the gaps in the evidence presented by the prosecution and make a strong defense basing on the results of the private investigation.

The role of the Private Investigator

When a criminal defense lawyer employs a private investigator for criminal investigation, the investigator studies the case first to understand the legal ramifications related to the case. He also examines the charges leveled against the defendant and reviews the defense argument as presented by the prosecutor. The understanding of the case prepares him for the investigation and gives gray areas for consideration in the due course of the inquiry.

The private investigator goes through all reports from the police, copies of the evidence, daily paperwork, phone messages photographs and the witness records related to the case. The investigation seeks to identify any inconsistency in the evidence presented, or between witnesses. He may also re-visit the crime scene to find any overlooked evidence. The investigation counterchecks the facts submitted in the police report and identifies all assumptions of the prosecution. He may also interview the witnesses to find out whether they were under pressure at the time of giving statements against the defendant, or if their stories have changed

If the investigator discovers any inconsistency and ulterior motives during the criminal defense investigation, the defense attorney may use it to defend the client. Additionally, if the private detective finds out that there are other witnesses or evidence that had not been considered by the police, he or she can request for further investigation. The defense attorney can ask the criminal court judge to allow the new evidence or include new witnesses in the case.

General Roles

Private investigators perform investigations for financial, criminal or legal investigation. Their work involves research, interviewing, and surveillance in their course of an investigation. Research of family history and conducting background research helps the investigator to find the useful information to solve a case. Some cases require the detective to survey the witnesses secretly to ascertain whether there was any wrong information given that can help build a strong defense case.

During the criminal defense investigation, the investigator ensures that their defendant is not declared guilty. His role is to help the defense lawyer win the case without leaving his busy schedule. Hiring criminal defense investigator helps the defense attorney to focus on other court duties as the investigator conducts the investigation.

Job Requirements


Becoming a private investigator requires a background in criminal justice system. Other investigators learn on the job. Employers base on different qualifications when seeking the services of a private investigator.in some case, the investigator must have a bachelors degree, while other organizations consider high school graduates. There are various colleges offering degrees or certifications for people wishing to join the private investigation career. Degrees in criminal justice or political science can help one advance career as a private investigator. Some states require the private investigator to be licensed. Most private investigators don’t carry guns because their role is investigating and not apprehending criminals. However, some dangerous cases require one to carry a gun for personal safety. A well-trained private investigator is a key to winning a court in a criminal court.

Top Private Investigators in the US History

The US has had the best private investigators in the world. Their work solved many cases and helped absolve innocent defendants. Examples of the best and renown investigators include Paul Baresi, J.J. Gradoni, Anthony Pellicano, John Walsh, Ed Gruchalla, and Richard Devlin. Surprisingly, most of them serve double lives that mask their roles as private investigators. For instance, Paul Baresi served as a pornographic actor, screenwriter, film director, and private investigator. John Edward Walsh, Jr. is a human rights advocate, television personality, and criminal investigator. Ed Gruchalla is a politician, salesperson, police officer, and private investigator. Another politician who also doubles as a private investigator is Richard Delvin. However, not all of the private investigators end up well as is the case with Anthony Pellicano. He is a former high ranking private investigator in Los Angeles. He was charged and imprisoned for possessing firearms, explosives and homemade grenades.