The Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Recognizes National Alcohol Awareness Month
April 1, 2009
TALLAHASSEE—April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco works year-round to raise awareness about underage drinking. During Alcohol Awareness Month, the public is encouraged to understand the issues of underage drinking and the devastating effects it can have on youth. ABT executes a three-tiered strategy to combat underage drinking: prevention, education, and enforcement.
One recent preventative effort was DBPR’s “Why Not?” spring break video contest. Using YouTube.com for submissions and asking 14 to 20-year-olds to share short videos on why they choose not to drink during spring break, ABT created a peer-to-peer platform for teens to influence each other. The contest was a success with more than 30 videos submitted the first year and no money spent on the campaign. DBPR relied on partnerships for prizes and promotion.
In addition to preventative measures aimed at underage youth, ABT also educates alcoholic beverage retailers on upholding state law and protecting the underage. ABT holds vendor responsibility classes, which are geared toward sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages. During these classes, alcoholic beverage industry members are taught how to spot false identification and the reasonable sale and service of alcoholic drinks is discussed.
ABT prefers to curb underage drinking through prevention and education; however, ABT agents use enforcement as a last resort. Spring break is a time notorious for underage drinking, and ABT agents patrol beaches and arrest underage drinkers. This spring break season, ABT agents are focusing enforcement efforts in Panama City Beach, Miami and Daytona Beach.
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 nearly one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.