News

2015

Spring Breakers: Play Safe! Be Smart! Be Responsible!

~ No party is worth the costs of driving impaired #SpringBroke2015~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State law enforcement agencies and associations are partnering during the springbreak2015month of March to encourage spring breakers to have a safe celebration in Florida. The state’s beautiful beaches and numerous tourist attractions lure thousands of spring breakers every year, but bad decisions about drugs and alcohol can ruin the party and change lives forever.

Law enforcement agencies will be out enforcing the state’s drinking age laws and working to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

The Department is reminding visitors and residents in the Sunshine State that is against the law to drink and drive.  Driving impaired puts the safety of everyone on the road in danger, and anyone caught driving under the influence will face tough penalties that can leave offenders with an empty wallet. The cost of driving impaired can reach anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. It’s a party you can’t afford.

“The Florida Highway Patrol wants spring breakers to enjoy their stay in Florida, but we also want them to be responsible so that everyone goes home safely,” said Colonel David Brierton, director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Remember, impairment begins with the first drink. If you are driving, YOU are the designated sober driver.”

Enforcing Florida’s Beverage Law, including the drinking age, is a responsibility of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. The division routinely works with state and local law enforcement officials to identify underage drinking and sales of alcoholic beverages to minors, especially during the spring break season.

“Florida is a wonderful place to visit, and our goal is to promote a safe and fun environment in the licensed establishments and nearby areas where millions of visitors gather to enjoy the spring break season.  The Department remains committed to supporting state and local law enforcement in our shared goal of keeping alcohol and tobacco out of the hands of underage persons,” said DBPR’s Secretary Ken Lawson.  “As we pursue this mission this year, I encourage licensed vendors across the state to be our partner in this effort by focusing attention on responsible vending practices that help discourage and prevent sales to underage persons.”

Do you know Florida law?  Knowing the following information and tips can help you enjoy your spring break safely. 

  • The legal drinking age in Florida is 21.
  • Anyone under the age of 21 in possession of alcohol can be cited for a second-degree misdemeanor, which can lead to costly court fees, fines and other lasting consequences.
  • Selling alcohol to anyone under 21 or buying alcohol for anyone under 21 is also a misdemeanor.
  • Possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle (in motion or stopped) by the driver and or the passenger(s) is a violation of Florida law.
  • Plan ahead. Always designate a sober driver before any drinking begins, or take a taxi or public transportation if you plan to drink alcohol. A taxi or bus ride is much cheaper than a DUI arrest.
  • Do not let an impaired friend drive, take the keys and save a life.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles: providing A Safer Florida by securely maintaining the records of more than 19 million registered vehicles and over 15 million licensed drivers, as well as providing safe travel along Florida’s highways.  To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.