Open container laws, DUI laws, and speed limit laws are like the unloved grandchildren of the federal government. While they are not officially the product of federal law, they are mandated through a little backdoor arm-twisting. To put it as simply as possible, the Feds don't have the power under the Constitution to regulate every little thing in every state. So, they tell the states: fix it or lose your highway funding. You might consider this good 'ol bribery.
And by bribery, we mean the federal government can create "incentives" for states to make such laws of their own, according to the Connecticut Assembly's OLR Research Report. California stands as one of 43 U.S states that outlaws the possession of an alcoholic beverage container that has been opened or has a broken seal while driving a vehicle.