Underage Drinking Charges in Jacksonville
Open Container in a Car
According to open container laws in Florida, you can receive a civil traffic ticket if you have an open container with alcohol in your car. The driver will get a traffic ticket with a fine of $73.00 to $90.00. This traffic ticket can also be given to a passenger in the car, and the fine is between $43.00 and $60.00. The person who has “control” over the container will get the ticket. Otherwise, the driver gets the open container traffic ticket.
Open Container in the Street
Most cities and counties have laws in place regulating the public consumption of alcohol or even possession of alcohol in the streets, parking lots, or on the beach. Jacksonville is no exception. Jacksonville City Ordinances 154.107 and 154.108 deal with both sale and possession of alcohol in the streets and during entertainment events. Please understand that an open container can be an open bottle, a cup, a glass, or a flask which contains alcohol. Jacksonville ordinances make specific exception to when it is legal to have an open container, otherwise, you can get a criminal ticket even if you are over 21 years old.
For underage drinkers, the person can be charged with a possession of alcohol by a person under 21 years of age, which is a second degree misdemeanor. This offense is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500.00 fine. Many times, this comes up in conjunction with a fake ID charge, which can be a 3rd degree felony in Florida.
Remember that many beaches in Florida do not allow alcohol. Please pay attention to signs at the entrance to the beach. Also, please remember that alcohol is prohibited in most state parks.
In order to purchase, possess or consume alcohol, you must be 21 years of age. The first offense of possession of alcohol under 21 is a second degree misdemeanor, but the second becomes a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000.00 fine. Call (904) 615-8950 today to speak to a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney.
Providing Alcohol to Minors
Florida statute 562.111 makes it illegal to serve, give, or sell alcohol to a minor. This situation comes up most commonly when a bartender does not properly check ID or when parents serve alcohol at a party for teenagers. The penalties can increase depending on how many times you have been convicted. A first offense is a first degree misdemeanor and can leave a serious mark on your record. The state attorney’s office will usually offer a part of the plea offer community service. You could also face a driver license suspension.