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August 09, 2010

If you drink alcohol in Nashville, better stick to plastic cups

Tennessee Code Annotated 55-10-416 makes it absolutely illegal for the driver of an automobile to possess an open container of alcohol. The law does not forbid a passenger from possessing alcohol or other persons not in an automobile from possessing an open container. However, despite the fact that Tennessee law limits open container violations to drivers of automobiles, local city laws do in many cases prohibit passengers and other persons in public from possessing an open container of alcohol.
In Nashville, Local Oridinance: 7.24.040 named: Alcoholic beverages in open containers states:
A. It shall be a violation for any person, while in or on a street, alley, sidewalk, parking lot, parking garage or other area generally open to the public, except (1) enclosed structures, (2) premises owned by scientific, religious or educational institutions, or (3) premises specifically permitted or licensed for the on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages or beer; to have in their possession beer, ale, wine or other alcoholic beverage for the purpose of consumption in a glass, aluminum, or metal container unless such container is commercially sealed.
B. Possession of beer, ale, wine or other alcoholic beverage in an open container not permitted in subsection A hereof shall be prima facie evidence of having said beverage for the purpose of consumption.
A close reading of such ordinance reveals that the law allows for one to possess alcohol in a plastic container. So don’t forget to grab some plastic cups for your next Titans tailgate.