26 U.S. Code § 5682. Penalty for breaking locks or gaining access

Every person, who destroys, breaks, injures, or tampers with any lock or seal which may be placed on any room, building, tank, vessel, or apparatus, by any authorized internal revenue officer or any approved lock or seal placed thereon by a distilled spirits plant proprietor, or who opens said lock, seal, room, building, tank, vessel, or apparatus, or in any manner gains access to the contents therein, in the absence of the proper officer, or otherwise than as authorized by law, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5682, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 698, consisted of provisions similar to those comprising this section, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 85–859.


1979—Pub. L. 96–39 expanded penalty provisions to include persons tampering with locks or seals affixed by distilled spirits plant proprietors.

Effective Date of 1979 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–39 effective Jan. 1, 1980, see section 810 of Pub. L. 96–39, set out as a note under section 5001 of this title.

Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms