Alcohol plays a role in the commission of countless crimes otherwise not considered “alcohol-related.” But four offenses in particular – driving under the influence (DUI), minor in possession of alcohol, open container and public intoxication – are directly referred to as alcohol-related crimes. DWI, or driving while intoxicated (DWI), is the most serious of the four and carries the most severe penalties. Minor in possession laws are meant to educate young people about the potential dangers of drinking. Open container laws, which vary by state and local ordinance, serve several purposes including the prevention of drunk driving. Laws prohibiting public intoxication are intended to prevent offenders from disturbing or harming others in public.
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