OC Open Container Law Changes

OCEAN CITY — Police Chief Bernadette DiPino’s suggestion to return the city’s open container law to a criminal violation instead of a civil infraction was approved unanimously by the City Council this week with no discussion.

In 2008, the Police Commission voted to change the open container law from arrestable, or criminal, violation, to a non-arrestable offense, which is a civil infraction.

This week’s change would return the open container violation to fall under the town’s code as unlawful to possess or consume alcoholic beverages “on any public street, highway, alley, sidewalk, parking lot, boardwalk, or public beach” within the town limits, versus a civil infraction where an open container violation would rule out the potential for arrest and allow people the option to pay a fine in lieu of appearing in court.