"Hello, I was wondering if there is a limit on what is illegal transportation of alcohol. I was using my dads truck and he had old beer cans in it. I did not know about them. They were very old anyways and I got a ticket for illegal transportation. I did not know they were even there, I was wondering if there is some kind of rule or stimpulation on it.
The law on Transportation or possession of alcoholic liquor in a motor vehicle (625 ILCS 5/11-502) states that "no driver may transport, carry, possess or have any alcoholic liquor within any passenger area of any motor vehicle upon a highway except in the original container and with the seal unbroken"
The seal is generally considered to be the can lid or bottle top, not the paper or plastic container for the package of cans or bottles. It is never a good idea to have open cans or bottles of alcoholic beverage in your vehicle, either in the passenger compartment, or in reach of the passenger compartment.
That said, your case may have been a judgement call on the part of the officer who issued you a ticket. The intent of the law is to penalize persons who are drinking while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. If this was truly not the case with you, I would encourage you to plead not guilty and let the Judge decide your case. Be prepared to provide some testimony to back your story up, such as having your Dad appear and explain the situation to the Judge. You may at least get court supervision in the matter. Still, the law technically applies to any open containers present, whether they are yours or not.
It can sometimes be difficult for a Police Officer to determine if an open container of alcoholic beverage has been recently opened, or if it has been there for some time. (Which is why it is a good idea to never have any open containers in your vehicle) Many Police Officers will make notes when they write such a ticket, noting their observations, such as that the can felt cold to the touch, or that residue beverage was inside the container, etc.
The above section (except for the word "transport") also applies to passengers in a vehicle, with the exception being a limousine with a divided partition for the passengers.