Is it illegal to drink alcohol in a parked car inside a private paid parking lot?

Is it illegal to drink alcohol in a parked car inside a private paid parking lot in Hollywood, CA (the ones that charge $10 bucks and allow you to self park for the whole night and say “Property of X Private Company”)? This is, of course, assuming keys are not in the ignition and nobody is sitting in the…

So long as you are 21 or over, the prohibitions upon drinking or having an open container in a vehicle apply only on a highway or areas open for off-highway driving. It would not be illegal if the keys were in the ignition and you were behind the wheel, either. (California’s DUI law applies only if you drive the vehicle, which requires volitional movement of the vehicle.)

It is perfectly legal to consume alcohol within your vehicle on private property. Yes, cops could come onto the property to enforce the law as long as they are not violating one’s expectation of privacy. You would be in a location accessible to the general public so an officer could be there too without being invited onto the grounds. I would be very careful about being too inebriated in within the vehicle. It takes but one poor decision for you or one of your ****-housed-drunk friends to want to listen to the radio, and then the key goes into the ignition…. one step closer…. Keep everyone out of the driver’s seat and keep the keys in your pocket and you’ll likely have no problems. Check section 23222(a) of the California Vehicle code to be certain. I think it requires the vehicle to be moving on a public highway. It’s the only section I can think of that would apply to an open container in a car.

Though a DUI requires “volitional movement of the vehicle”, I am assuming it is important, in your case, to stay out of jail. While the volitional movement defense is enough to get you out of a DUI conviction, it is likely not enough to keep you from being arrested. Cops deal with probable cause, and enough probable cause would exist to indicate someone was DUI if they were contacted in their vehicle, with the engine running, and intoxicated.

Be safe and have fun.

If you got a ticket, take it to court. I THINK you should ask a lawyer. dont wanna get pinned with attempted dui or some crap, you know?

absolutely not

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