Having an open container in a vehicle in Texas is illegal. Nobody within a vehicle can have an open container of alcohol.
Understanding this law requires knowing what open container means.
Open container definition
An open container is any alcoholic beverage that is in a container that is open. Open can mean it has a broken seal. It also means that the container is not full and has had some contents removed. For example, a wine bottle that was previously opened and used would be an open container. A freshly opened bottle of beer is also an open container.
Location in vehicle
An open container becomes illegal when it is in the open area of a vehicle. It is not illegal to have an open container in a locked glove compartment or in a trunk.
Having an open container in a vehicle is illegal whether you are driving or not. It is also illegal in a parked vehicle or in a stopped position if the vehicle is on a public roadway. This law does not apply to private property.
There are exceptions for certain vehicles and situations. Passengers in vehicles for hire can have open containers, such as people riding in a limousine. Those in a motorhome are also exempt.
Open container laws help to prevent drunk driving. By making it illegal to have an open container in a vehicle, it gives officers the ability to stop people from drinking while on roadways, which could prevent someone from driving drunk.