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Open Container Laws in New Mexico

In general, open container laws prohibit possession of open alcoholic beverage containers in a vehicle, and prohibit drinking in a vehicle potentially even by passengers not operating the car.  Most states, including New Mexico, have an outright ban on any open alcohol containers in vehicles regardless of who (if anybody) is consuming them.  A first offense results in a fine of $25, while a second or subsequent offense results in a fine of up to $300 in addition to potential imprisonment for up to 90 days.  A second offense also results in a license revocation for three months, while a 3rd or subsequent offense results in such revocation for one year.  All of these offenses are considered misdemeanors in New Mexico.

In addition, it is important to note that open container laws can be local and thus diverse within many states.  This means that certain cities or municipalities within a state may treat open container laws differently than the blanket state policy.  However, New Mexico does not allow for this deviation in policy standards, thus requiring all of its local jurisdictions to adhere to the standards set forth by the state government.  New Mexico does have an exception to its open container law for passengers paying to travel, including passengers in a bus, taxi, or limousine.


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