Open Container Laws apply to Golf Carts

This past weekend, a neighbor on Crystal Canal shared a tough lesson he learned. Golf carts are considered vehicles and are subject to the same law as a car/truck. He was a passenger in the back seat of the golf cart, holding a cold one in his hand, when the sheriff pulled them over and he was given a ticket for $168.00. His only frustration is he only had the one can on board, had only taken a few sips, and nothing was done to all of the “falling down drunks” everywhere on the beach. Thought I would share the lesson learned so other law abiding citizens could benefit.

Oh, and one other, golf carts are prohibited from riding on the beach at night, even with lights. I got a warning on that one and headed back home…I found that surprising but oh well…lesson learned. (Chris A, 8-12-13)

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12 Responses to “Open Container Laws apply to Golf Carts”

  1. I agree with @Hazel Meaux — the parents of underaged drivers of carts should be issued tickets. It is so easy to just assume that because kids can easily handle driving a golf cart that it is safe.

  2. TXsurfer says:

    I respect the officers that are protecting our beaches but i will say that they should spend more time on seeking out the kids and adults that are flying around in their full size trucks rather then a golf cart going 10mph. I understand the dangers on all levels but the full size cars/trucks present a much greater danger and i can garuntee that 80% of the drivers are drinking or have been most of the day. I hate to say it but it is only a matter of time before something terrible occurs.

  3. Thomashawk says:

    The “Golf Cart” can only be defined as a “Motor Vehicle” when it’s used for commercial purposes. Texas gets its definition from the United States Code, since the U.S. regulates commerce between the several states. Please look this up for yourselves. 18 USC Chap 2 (31.)Definitions: (6) Motor vehicle.—The term “motor vehicle” means every description of carriage or other contrivance propelled or drawn by mechanical power AND used for commercial purposes on the highways in the transportation of passengers, passengers and property, or property or cargo. Therefore, if you’re not using the “Golf Cart” for commercial purposes then the State i.e. GCSO cannot regulate the use of it!!

  4. Arun says:

    Its is a necessary one for golf vehicles. because recently i heard lot of off road vehicles met accident.

    First International Dubai

  5. RUSTEDWOOD says:

    GCSO has a job to do. A rough job, with limited resouces. They have to pick their battles and make judgement calls everyday. I commend them on a job well done, and can’t imagine living here without their constant presence.

  6. Don says:

    Sounds like some folks would be happier on Padre Island out in the middle of nowhere. I like meeting my neighbors and tourist…OH! I like people! LOL!

  7. Tuff E Nuff says:

    Hey Edith….let me assure you the kids aren’t saying that! Way back when I was a kid, yes….we did say that. But not now or for a long time. It is well known, just like the speed limits in Bridge City…that if you screw up at Crystal Beach, it’s the cattle truck!

  8. Hazel Meaux says:

    I wish they would give tickets to the parents of the kids who are of not of legal age to drive a golf cart or ATV. They are more dangerous. Some people just turn their kids loose and don’t know where they are or care. I would not have a problem with no cars on the beach, only golf carts driven by adults.

  9. A Tourist says:

    Believe me, they enforce it for tourist as well. I was the only one from Louisiana in the group, the other 3 were from the greater Houston area. A very rude deputy pulled us over on a golf cart and got angry with us when we asked what we did wrong. He wrote all 4 of us tickets. A week later I received a letter stating that the fine on the ticket was incorrect and that I needed to mail them a check for $168. We watched a slew of golf carts, 4-wheelers, side x sides, and autos go by with everyone drinking and he didn’t care. Where I’m from, if the people are nice and just ignorant of their minor offense, they get a verbal warning. This guy was more than happy to tax us, when everyone was more than happy to pour out their cans and continue safely on our way. The Galveston County Deputy was one of the rudest law enforcement officers I’ve met.

    The true irony in this si that there were 2 deputies behind us, one was texting and driving so we moved over and let him pass us, it was the 2nd one that decided we presented either the biggest danger or fattest wallets and decided to pull us over. My beer, that was masked in a coozie, wasn’t even open, but he didn’t bother to check, and trying to show him was only met with a threat of being arrested for interfering with an investigation.

    I’ve been going to Crystal for years, never knew that what we did was a crime. Once I pay my fine, I will make sure to write on the check to use the money to pay people to clean the beach since I won’t be doing for free anymore.

  10. Lamont Meaux says:

    Amen,Edith. Very well put. That is our exact experience in the Ramada Beach area.

  11. Keith Nabours says:

    If the golf cart is gas yes they can but if its electric they cant write u a ticket for open container!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Edith says:

    interesting that the LOCALS are usually the ones cited rather than the “tourists” who seem to run rampant..ATV’s doing donuts on the beach, plenty of beer BOTTLES, kids driving golf carts and ATV’s, etc. ZERO TOLERANCE by GCSO seems to apply to locals only! If our existing laws were enforced fairly, the lawbreakers who head to the Peninsula would be fewer and fewer. As it is, it’s pretty much a joke with the kids… go to Bolivar, you can do what you want and the cops don’t mess with you.

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