Open Containers in Athens-Clarke County

Ordinances Controlling Open Containers


Please read and adhere to the following Athens-Clarke County ordinances in regards to open containers in Athens-Clarke County.

Sec. 6-3-8. Open Containers


(a) "Open container" defined. The term "open container," as used in this chapter, means any bottle, can, glass, cup, or other vessel which contains an alcoholic beverage not in its original container. The term "open container" shall also mean the original container of an alcoholic beverage and which contains an alcoholic beverage on which the seal has been broken or which is otherwise ready for consumption.
(b) "Semipublic parking facility" defined. The term "semipublic parking facility" shall include any privately owned area wherein motor vehicles may be parked by the public in conjunction with any business, enterprise, commercial establishment, office building, church, school, or multiple-family residential building.
(c) Possession of open container prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any alcoholic beverages in any open container while on the public streets, sidewalks, or rights of way or in any public or semipublic parking facility within Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.
(d) Application to special events. This prohibition shall not apply to any exceptions or exemptions as may be provided for in chapter five of title six regulating special events within Athens-Clarke County.
(e) Application to property owned by Board of Regents. This prohibition shall not apply to any property owned by the Board of Regents of the State of Georgia.
(f) Application to sidewalk cafes. The prohibition in subsection (c) above shall not apply to patrons of a sidewalk cafe as defined in the sidewalk cafe ordinance, if such establishment is otherwise licensed to sell alcoholic beverages under the applicable laws and ordinances in Athens-Clarke County.
(g) Exemption not applicable to persons in automobiles. The exemption contained in subsection (d) above shall not apply to persons in automobiles.
(h) Possession in automobiles prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any alcoholic beverages in any open container while an occupant of any motor vehicle, whether such vehicle is underway or not, while such vehicle is on the public streets, sidewalks, or rights of way, or in any public or semipublic parking facility within Athens-Clarke County. An open container shall be considered to be in the possession of the operator of a vehicle if the container is not in the possession of a passenger or is not located in a locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or other locked non-passenger area of the vehicle.
(i) Application of subsection (h) to passengers of limousines, buses, and campers. Subsection (h) shall not apply to:
  1. A passenger of a limousine or other similar vehicle in which the driver is operating the vehicle pursuant to a contract to provide transportation for hire and such driver holds a valid commercial driver's license pursuant to Georgia law or any other state
  2. A passenger of a bus in which the driver holds a valid commercial driver's license pursuant to Georgia law or any other state
  3. The occupants in the living quarters of a camper or motor home.
(j) Posting of notice by establishments. All licensed alcohol establishments are hereby required to post in a conspicuous location inside such establishment a notice informing patrons that open containers are prohibited on the public streets, sidewalks, or rights of way, or in any public or semipublic parking facility within Athens-Clarke County (Ord. of 12-5-91, §1; Ord. of 5-4-93, §1; Ord. of 3-1-94, §1; Ord. of 11-4-2003, §1).

Sec. 3-12-23. Glass Containers Prohibited


(a) Glass prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any open glass container for the consumption of any beverage on the public streets, sidewalks, or rights of way or in any public or semipublic parking facility within Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.
(b) "Semipublic parking facility" defined. The term "semipublic parking facility" shall include any privately owned area wherein motor vehicles may be parked by the public in conjunction with any business, enterprise, commercial establishment, office building, church, school, or multiple-family residential building.
(c) Exemption. This prohibition shall not apply to any property owned by the Board of Regents of the State of Georgia.

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