The Ultimate Guide to Open Container Laws in Tampa Bay

With fall festivities fast approaching in the Tampa Bay area, it’s important to know your limits when it comes to complying with open container laws. While many of us assume that open container policy means we can drink what we want, whenever and wherever, within the restricted area — this is not the case.  We’re here to provide you with guidelines to keep your drink in your hands and the fines far away from them.

Open Container Laws in Florida

In Florida, open container laws regulate or prohibit open containers of alcohol in certain areas as well as the consumption of alcohol in certain areas. This includes public places such as sidewalks, parks, and vehicles.

In an effort to create an exciting downtown atmosphere that everyone will want to be a part of, Tampa City Council approved the proposal of allowing open containers on Tampa’s Riverwalk. This area approved in late 2014 extends from the Tampa Bay History Center to Water Works Park, which runs for about two miles along the Hillsborough River.

The Do’s

As long as you stay within the limits of the Tampa Bay History Center to Water Works Park you can roam freely with a drink in hand from any of the following noteworthy spots:

  • The Columbia Cafe at the Tampa Bay History Center
  • Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
  • Tampa Convention Center
  • Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel
  • Malio’s Prime Steakhouse in Rivergate Tower
  • Sono Café at the Tampa Museum of Art
  • Maestro’s at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
  • Ulele restaurant and brewery

The Don’ts

Any violators of the open container policy will end up paying for their actions. Depending on the severity of the violation, a first offense could result in a $75 fine. A second offense will be double that at $150 and so forth. A third offense could cost you $450. Here are some guidelines to help keep your money in the bank and a drink in your hand:

  • Drinks must be purchased from one of the facilities listed above, no one can bring their own alcohol
  • Only 2 drinks can be carried at a time
  • No drinking is allowed before 11 a.m. or after 1 a.m.
  • Drinking in neighboring city parks is prohibited unless a special event permits alcohol

Keep in mind that underage drinking is strictly prohibited. Areas with open container policies are monitored more carefully since the area isn’t age restricted and alcohol is easily accessible. So don’t try to pull a fast one on Tampa Bay Law Enforcement!

Are you or a loved one being charged with Underage Drinking? We can help.
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Contact Clark Law for Legal Representation

The attorneys at Clark Law are trained in providing the best legal advice and representation if you have been cited for a violation of the Tampa open container restrictions. Contact us today for a free initial consultation if you need an attorney to help you dismiss a citation. We can also provide you with more information on hosting events in open container restricted areas to ensure a safe and stress-free time at any event.