September 3, 2010
College football season is here. Those of us who live in college towns have likely seen fans clad in their favorite team's apparel in anticipation of this weekend's games. While it's a great time to enjoy the games and start of fall, unfortunately it can be a time when underage drinking occurs at tailgating parties and other game-related events. That's why our Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco is ready to enforce underage alcohol sales and drinking laws.
Each year, ABT agents patrol pre-game tailgating parties to stop underage drinking. Additionally, ABT is partnering with alcoholic beverage industry representatives for Tailgaters Urging Responsibility and Fun, or "TURF." In its third year, The Charmer Sunbelt Group (CSG) together with DBPR, Brown-Forman Corporation, The Retail Beverage Council of the Florida Retail Federation, Premier Beverage, CBS Radio, WAXY "The Ticket" and TURF spokesman Boomer Esiason collaborated on an integrated program designed to promote safe and responsible tailgating at Florida sporting events.
I'd like to remind our alcoholic beverage licensees that you play a crucial role in protecting Florida's underage youth. Please diligently check IDs and refuse sales to underage people.
Establishments that sell alcohol to individuals under the age of 21 three times within a 12-week period face up to a $1,000 fine and a seven-day license suspension. Individuals who sell or give alcohol to underage youth face a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. A new law stiffens criminal penalties for anyone caught two or more times giving alcohol to underage drinkers. Anyone who facilitates underage drinking will be subject to a first-degree misdemeanor on the second offense.
In closing, I wish you all a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. As a reminder, DBPR offices will be closed this Monday in recognition of the holiday.