Kansas has some of the strictest alcohol restrictions in the country, and motorists who transport open containers of alcohol can face severe penalties even if they do not drink. Kansas also has a more rigid definition of what an open container is. In some parts of the country, open containers are cups of alcohol or open cans or bottles. In Kansas, an alcohol container becomes open as soon as its factory seal is broken. Transporting an open container of alcohol is a misdemeanor in Kansas that carries a fine of up to $200 and a jail sentence of up to six months, and repeat offenders can lose their driving privileges for a year.
The only way to transport containers of alcohol legally in Kansas is in their original packaging with the factory seal intact. Even then, the container must be placed in vehicle trunks or in locked compartments outside the passenger cabin. This means that placing an unopened six-pack of beer on a vehicle’s back seat would technically violate the law. If you drive a vehicle that does not have a trunk, you must place unopened and sealed alcohol containers behind the rearmost seat in a place that would normally be inaccessible to passengers.
Bus and limousine exceptions
Bus and limousine drivers can face DUI charges if they consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel, but their passengers can enjoy a beer or glass of wine without violating the Kansas open container law. That is because lawmakers included an exemption for recreational vehicles that can carry 10 or more passengers.
Strict laws and harsh penalties
The laws dealing with alcohol are strict in Kansas, and the penalties for violating them are harsh. Drivers can be cited for violating the Sunflower State’s open container law whenever they transport alcohol in anything other than its original sealed packaging, which means carrying a hip flask could lead to a ticket, a $200 fine and six months in jail.