“Operation Boutonniere Bust” Keeps Alcohol Out of the Hands of Underage Youth During Prom and Graduation
June 9, 2010
TALLAHASSEE—During this prom and graduation season, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco executed “Operation Boutonniere Bust,” a compliance effort to ensure that alcoholic beverage retailers did not make underage alcohol sales. During the three-month operation, ABT agents conducted 2,246 alcohol compliance checks, cited 282 retailers for underage alcohol sales, and found an average retail compliance rate of 87 percent.
“Retailers play a key role in keeping our youth safe, and ‘Operation Boutonniere Bust’ was an effective way for ABT to ensure retailers understand the importance of checking IDs,” said Interim Secretary Charlie Liem. “Through retail compliance checks, we help keep alcohol out of the hands of underage youth during these important milestones in their lives.”
During “Operation Boutonniere Bust,” ABT agents used investigative aides between the ages of 14 and 19 to attempt to purchase alcohol from retailers. Employees who made underage alcohol sales were arrested. Regardless of whether a sale was made, ABT agents provided retailers with posters on the importance of checking identification and keeping alcohol out of the hands of underage youth.
Selling alcohol to individuals under the age of 21 three times within a 12-week period can result in a $1,000 fine and a seven-day license suspension. 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.