Penalties for Serving Alcohol to Minors in Florida

It's common knowledge that it's illegal for minors to purchase alcohol before the age of 21 in Florida and in every other state. It's also common knowledge that teenagers are in the habit of trying to get their hands on alcohol and they can get creative while doing it.

Teens will try to bribe adults to buy them alcohol by handing them money to go into a convenient store and buy them beer, then they'll say, "Just keep the change." Some teens will intentionally grow a beard so they'll look older, then after saying, "I forgot my license," they'll try to convince the store clerk that they are over 21.

Some teens will go so far as using a fake ID (a crime in itself), or they'll try to pass their older brother's or sister's ID as their own. If a ploy to buy alcohol can imagined, it's probably already been done by anxious teenagers who want to get buzzed or drunk.

When we think of teenagers trying to buy alcohol, we may imagine the store clerk simply says "no" then the teen goes on their merry way. That's not how it always happens. If a store clerk is a stickler about underage drinking and the law, they can call the police to arrest the teenager who's trying to buy alcohol.

But, the law isn't limited to teens who buy alcohol illegally. Not only can the teenager be arrested for possessing alcohol, the person who sells it to them can be arrested as well.

It's Illegal to Serve or Sell Alcohol to Minors

Under Section 562.11 of the Florida Statutes, it's illegal to sell, give, or serve alcohol to anyone who is under the age of 21. Under this section you cannot sell, give, serve, or allow alcohol to be served to anyone under the age of 21, or let anyone under 21 consume alcohol on a licensed premises.

A violation of Sect. 562.11 is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and by a fine not to exceed $500. Additionally, a violation of this section may result in having the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles suspend or revoke the offender's driver's license.

If you are being accused of selling or giving alcohol to someone under 21 in West Palm Beach, contact my firm for an aggressive defense!


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