April 13, 2012
April marks the start of the high school prom season, and here at the Department, we want to encourage teens to celebrate their proms safely by not drinking. I believe that proms should be a time to celebrate, but in a responsible way. Underage drinking is dangerous and can unfortunately lead to tragedy. I sincerely urge parents to talk to their kids about enjoying a safe prom season.
Not only is alcohol consumption by minors unsafe, it is also illegal. Throughout this year’s prom season, our Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco will perform compliance checks at licensed establishments across the state to identify sales of alcohol to minors. Underage possession and consumption of alcohol and buying for or selling to a minor are second-degree misdemeanors, and violations could result in up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. Additionally, the Florida Legislature passed a law last year that makes parents criminally liable for allowing underage consumption of alcohol at open house parties.
I truly want students to enjoy their proms, but please make smart decisions. I sincerely wish you all a wonderful and safe prom season!