Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An Alabama PSA


Illegal to possess too much beer

An excess of "holiday spirits" landed an Albertville man in jail on Christmas Eve.

Albertville Police Chief Benny Womack said 35-year-old Ramiro Santos, of the Kilpatrick Mobile Home Park, was stopped at 10 p.m. Friday at the intersection of U.S. 431 and Mathis Mill Road in Albertville on suspicion of driving under the influence.

During a subsequent search of Santos' vehicle, officers discovered a large quantity of beer, leading to charges of illegal transportation of alcoholic beverages being filed against Santos.

Womack said the list of beer was lengthy and included 14 cases of Bud Light, and a variety of other brands, including Modelo and Corona.

"We don't see a lot of these types of cases," Womack said. "It's not often someone has that much beer in their car."

With many people planning New Year's parties, officials caution drivers to be aware of alcoholic beverage restrictions and laws.

Alabama Criminal Codes state transporting more than five gallons of alcohol is a felony offense punishable by no less than one year but no more than five years in prison.

Drivers are allowed to possess three quarts of liquor or three quarts of wine along with one case of brewed or malt beverages. However, no beverages may be kept in the passenger compartment of a vehicle or within sight of the passenger.

Since many parts of Marshall County are considered wet, or allow sales of alcohol, drivers are subject to an open container law. Under the law, drivers can possess alcoholic beverages for transport, but containers cannot be open and bottles cannot have broken seals.

In dry portions of the area, such as Boaz and Mountainboro, drivers are subject similar laws, according to Boaz Deputy Chief Todd Adams.

"The main thing people need to know is they cannot have alcoholic beverages of any type within reach of the driver or passengers at all," Adams said. "That doesn't matter if you live in the dry or wet areas."

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