Open Alcohol Container Violations May Become A Civil Offense

On Friday, the Maryland Senate passed legislation that would permit police officers to issue citations for open alcoholic container violations. Under the legislation, offenders would not be arrested, but only be issued a citation in most cases.


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The House of Delegates will vote on the bill in the very near future. Montgomery County Democratic Senator Will Smith sponsored the measure. The first offense would call for a $100 fine.

The bill is part of a plan to decriminalize common offenses, such as possessing a small amount of marijuana. Backers say they want to avoid giving people a criminal record for minor violations.

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