The Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to Execute Statewide “Operation Boutonniere Bust” to Stop Underage Drinking During Prom
April 15, 2010
TALLAHASSEE—During this prom and graduation season, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco will execute “Operation Boutonniere Bust,” a compliance effort to ensure that alcoholic beverage retailers do not make underage alcohol sales. During the operation, investigative aides, who are between the ages of 14 and 19, will attempt to purchase alcohol. Employees who make underage alcohol sales will be arrested.
Regardless of whether a sale is made, ABT agents will provide retailers with posters on the importance of checking identification and keeping alcohol out of the hands of underage youth. Retailers can download and print the poster by visiting MyFloridaLicense.com.
“By executing ‘Operation Boutonniere Bust,’ we are enforcing state law and educating our alcoholic beverage licensees. Retailers play a key role in keeping Florida’s underage youth safe. If we can prevent underage youth from obtaining alcohol, we can help prevent underage drinking,” said Interim Secretary Charlie Liem.
Selling alcohol to individuals under the age of 21 can result in a $1,000 fine and a seven-day license suspension for the first occurrence. Individuals who sell or give alcohol to an underage person can be sentenced to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
The mission of ABT is to keep alcohol and tobacco out of the hands of underage persons, to ensure that licensed establishments are in compliance with the laws and rules regulating the industry in Florida, and to collect taxes and fees related to these industries.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.