Whether you’re planning to visit Florida for the first time or consider yourself a local, it’s important to understand Florida alcohol laws. Local authorities have the power to fine you if you break these laws, from what days you can buy alcohol to the conditions for driving while under the influence. So what exactly are those laws? Let’s follow this article of Servsafe-Prep for more beneficial information!
Minimum Age Laws
Currently, many part-time jobs at restaurants, hotels, or bars are becoming popular in Florida. These jobs may require employees to handle and use alcohol. That is the reason why it is really important to deeply understand the exact age allowed for alcohol exposure.
There is no exact age restriction for a person to be allowed to sell beer or alcohol-related products for off-site consumption.
It’s allowed in Florida for adults or people more than 18 years old to drink alcohol-related products (wine or beer for example) as an important part of a required course. However, Florida’s official drinking age is the same as in some other countries, at 21. Florida liquor law allows bartenders to be 18, and 18-year-olds can work in a liquor store. (for example bartenders) provided they don’t actually use or sell alcohol.
Alcohol and Driving
First, it’s important to remember that when it comes to alcohol and driving, Florida is like every other state in the US: driving while intoxicated (DWI) is not acceptable and can result in hefty fines depending on the state. whether it was your first offense or you are multiple offenders. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Florida’s alcohol laws regarding driving:
- The legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) is 08. Drivers under the age of 21 are kept to a stricter BAC limit: 02. If they exceed this amount, they are required for liability. DWI penalties, include community service, fines, or even prison.
- Alcohol laws in Florida encourage all drivers to undergo a ventilator if pulled by police, as you can face harsher legal penalties for refusing.
- Also, if you’re a BAC that’s at least 20% over the limit, you’ll face far more serious consequences.
- You must not drive with an open barrel of alcohol in the passenger compartment of your vehicle. If the container has been opened, you are required by law to place the container in the body of your vehicle.
Penalties for drunk driving can range from a minimum six-month suspension (first offense) to two years (second or third offense), fines, and even jail time (usually after the fourth offense). The Florida DMV can also seize and impound your vehicle, as well as charge hefty fines for withdrawals. All people convicted of alcohol-related offenses are required to take alcohol awareness classes.
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Alcohol and Boating
Alcohol laws in Florida disallow working a watercraft beneath the impact. Individuals are “under the influence” in case they have a BAC level of approximately 0.08%. Then again, in case liquor and/or drugs are affecting them to a degree that impedes their ordinary capacities. Or with a BAC of 0.05% or higher in the event that there’s any proof of being “under the influence.”
Punishments for the first commit with the offense are imprisoned for up to half of a year and a fine of $500. For the second offense, it’s imprisoned for up to 7-9 months and a fine of up to $1,000. And for the third offense, it’s jailed for up to 12 months and a fine of approximately $2,500. In case the offense leads to property harm, damage, or even death, the court forces much more extreme discipline.
For people who haven’t reached the age of 21 years old, it’s not allowed to function as a vessel with any quantifiable BAC. That is, with a BAC of 0.02%. That number does not come to zero since breathalyzers can be incorrect. A conviction may require a penalty level of around 50 hours for public service, completing a boater instruction course, and an internet course for violators. They may not work on any vessel until they fulfill all those prerequisites.
Alcohol Buying in Florida
People must be 21 or older to buy alcohol. Even a first offense is a crime. It’s a jail for 60 days and a fine of $500. A second offense can lead to jail for up to one year and a $1,000 fine.
The first requirement for a person to be allowed to buy alcohol is that they must be over the age of 21. If you are a first-time offender, it’s possible that you will be jailed for 60 days and fined up to $500. Subsequent offenses face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
In case you knowingly fake ID to buy alcohol, you can face a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years. In addition, lending your ID for the purpose of buying alcohol illegally will also face a penalty of 60 days and $500, even a higher penalty level if you do it on purpose. The state where you live also has the right to suspend both licenses for at least 1 year.
Alcohol Sales in Florida
Selling alcohol to people under the age of 21 is illegal in Florida under all circumstances. If you do this even accidentally, you may get the risk of being fined up to $500. Worse, you will be subject to a prison sentence of up to 60 days.
Florida alcohol laws permit beer and wine sales in alcohol-licensed retail stores. This includes grocery stores and convenience gas stations. However, only a package store may sell spirits. (Spirits include types of tequila, rum, whiskey, gin, or several types of vodka, etc.)
Alcohol laws in Florida allow brew and wine deals in alcohol-licensed retail shops. This integrated basic supply stores and comfort gas stations. However, spirits are just allowed to be sold in package stores because of the perception that spirits contain more alcohol than regular beer or wine.
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Alcohol Sales Hours in Florida
While the general state law in Florida is not to sell, consume, serve, or permit the sale or service of anyone with a liquor license between midnight and 7 a.m., several counties and cities in the state are allowed to launch different rules. Your experience may vary depending on where you’re trying to buy alcohol during your trip.
There is no official state ban on alcohol sold on Sundays, but again, the laws vary by county or city. Beer and wine can be sold in retail stores, supermarkets, and convenience gas stations, however, spirits must be purchased at an official package store.
Above is basic information about Florida alcohol laws. Please note that this article is not intended to be an exhaustive list of Florida’s alcohol laws, nor to be used as legal advice. Instead, this is just designed to give you a better knowledge of Florida alcohol laws so you can stay safe while traveling or living in Florida.