• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Open Container in CDA ID

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Washington State, however I received a misdemeanor charge in ID.

I received an open-container misdemeanor in Coeur d'Alene, ID after hiking to a beach that was a city-owned beach. The alcohol I had consumed was 1/2 of a 12oz Corona. The citing officer told me that there were 'no alcohol' signs posted all over the trailhead, however there were multiple trailheads and the one I entered from had no such signs posted, and there were no signs posted along the length I had hiked. I am trying to have the misdemeanor reduced or dismissed for career reasons; if the signs weren't posted (and I have photographic evidence that, in fact, they weren't), am I still liable for a misdemeanor? Is there a good defense to be had here?


Senior Member
It was a little hard to find, but:


A. No person shall consume any beer, wine or other alcoholic beverage or possess an open container of or containing any beer, wine or other alcoholic beverage on any public property, including public streets and alleys, within the city, or at any other place in the city, including any motor vehicle moving or stationary, with the following exceptions:
1. The premises of a private residence;
2. Premises licensed for the sale of on site consumption of the particular type of alcoholic beverage involved;
3. A certified forensic laboratory when the alcoholic beverage is possessed for evidentiary purposes and/or for testing and research purposes;
4. A public law enforcement facility possessing alcoholic beverages for evidentiary purposes or for training purposes;
5. Within the indoor premises of a private business when served free of charge to customers or patrons of the business in conjunction with a specific event then taking place inside the business premises;
6. On a public sidewalk and/or other public right of way when such sidewalk or right of way is contiguous to a permitted outdoor eating facility, but only after issuance of and pursuant to the terms of a permit authorized by the city council. Criteria that must be met for a permit to issue shall be set forth by resolution of the city council.
7. Within the indoor premises of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library when served free of charge to patrons or event attendees in conjunction with a specific event hosted by the Coeur d'Alene Public Library Foundation, the Friends Of The Coeur d'Alene Public Library or other associated library organizations, pursuant to rules and policies adopted by the Coeur d'Alene library board of trustees for such events.
8. As otherwise permitted by this code.

B. Furthermore, no person shall possess any container, whether open or not, of or containing any beer, wine or other alcoholic beverage on public property, except at those public locations and under those conditions as set out in subsection A of this section or as otherwise permitted by this code. (Ord. 3443, 2012)
Holy moley, that is quite a law! It seems like the people of the great city of Coeur d'Alene don't much take to intoxicating beverages, lessen it makes some money.

But, there does not seem to be a signage requirement and people are supposed to know the law. (aka Ignorance of the law is no excuse.) It seems to me the intent required is possession and not knowledge you were on a public property. I do not think the fact the trail was not posted is going to be a valid defense. I see a couple of cases where the constitutionality of the law was challenged, so that is not going to happen.

As an employer, I don't know if such a conviction will make me give too many minus points to the applicant/employee. Are you worried because it is an alcohol related offense and that fact specifically affects something? Because, while alcohol is related to the offense, I don't see the law to be focused on such in a way alcohol related offenses are usually used against a person.


Junior Member
That's what I thought. I read through the law back and forth, and while the county's laws do not forbid alcohol, I think I'm pretty boned. I don't have so much as a parking ticket to my name, so I'm hoping they go lenient on the whole 'misdemeanor' thing. I'm starting a Medical Technology post-grad program after I graduate from my university this year, and I'm very worried that, especially in a professional medical laboratory setting, a mark on my name such as this will deter employment.

I appreciate the feedback. It looks like I'll have to rely on my charm and good looks to sway the judge towards letting me off or reducing the charge. I've never been to a court, is it far-fetched to request reduction to an infraction, paying the fine, AND community service (perhaps putting up some signs at trailheads...)?


Super Secret Senior Member
...is it far-fetched to request reduction to an infraction, paying the fine, AND community service (perhaps putting up some signs at trailheads...)?
Go for it.

Dress nice and be polite.

You also may want to consult with a local attorney to see what might be done.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential