Did you know that Georgia law prohibits you from driving in a vehicle with an alcoholic beverage that has been opened? Even if you have not been drinking, even a container with a broken seal is a violation. An open container in the passenger seat or in the glove compartment can be a violation of the law as well. While the fines and penalties may vary between localities, the typical fine is usually no more than $250. If you are under 21, the fine can be considerably more – $1,000 – and include jail time. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on an accident where a MARTA Police officer was struck by a motorist who was charged with an open container violation.
52-year-old John Waid ran a stop sign and collided with off-duty MARTA Police Officer Emanuel Sabir, who was riding a motorcycle. Sabir had been assisting with a funeral procession on Fairburn Road in Atlanta.
As the funeral procession passed Thompson Drive, a van pulled off and onto Fairburn Road, striking the off-duty officer. The officer was thrown from his motorcycle.
Waid emerged from his vehicle and became combative, getting into fights with neighbors in the area and later police who arrived before taking him into custody.
Waid was arrested on charges of having an open container, failing to stop at a stop sign, and interrupting a funeral procession.
Sabir was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital with serious injuries but was in stable condition.
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