The State of Florida prohibits anyone the age of 21 from possessing any type of alcoholic beverage. However, these minor in possession (MIP) laws do not apply to servers who are 18 or older and employed by a licensed business that sells, prepares, or provides alcoholic beverages to the public.
In addition, it is legal for anyone 18 or older to drink alcohol as part of a required course if the institution is accredited and recognized by the United States Department of Education. The authorized instructor must be at least 21 years and in control of the alcohol at all times.
If you are under the age of 21, it is illegal to possess any alcoholic beverage. The penalties for violating this law are:
In addition, the court shall direct the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to withhold the issuance of, revoke or suspend your driver's license or driving privileges as follows:
Florida Statute Section 562.111, Florida Statute Section 775.082, Florida Statute Section 775.083, Florida Statute Section 322.056
It is illegal for anyone to use a borrowed, forged, counterfeit, or stolen Florida driver's license or Florida ID card to purchase or obtain alcohol. Violating this law will result in being charged with a third-degree felony offense and the penalties include the following:
Anyone who provides a fake identification to a minor will be subject to the above penalties.
Florida Statute Section 322.212
It is against the law for driver under 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or higher. The penalties include:
The Department of Motor Vehicles will not reinstate your driver's license if you fail to complete the substance abuse educational course. If you are under 18 at the time, the police are required to contact your parents.
Florida Statute Section 322.2616
It is illegal for any adult to knowingly allow a minor to consume alcohol in his or her presence. Anyone who supplies or sells alcohol to minors will be held responsible for any injuries or damages caused by the underage person. This applies to adults who allow minors to consume alcohol at their home or bars, restaurants, and stores that allow minors to consume alcohol at a location under their supervision. You will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor and the penalties include:
Florida Statute Section 562.11, Florida Statute Section 856.015, Florida Statute Section 125.69
To learn more about the MIP laws, read Title XXXIV of the Florida Statutes. If you are facing MIP charges in Florida, contact a criminal defense lawyer for legal help.