Selling or Supplying Alcohol to a Minor

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In the United States of America, it is illegal to drink alcohol if you are under 21 years of age. It is also illegal to sell alcohol to minors or to buy it for them. Preventing adults who are old enough to drink from buying alcohol for those who aren’t aiming to discourage minors from possessing alcohol, reduce instances of underage DUIs, and encourage adults to be careful about who gets their hands on liquor.

It may seem harmless to have a drink before you are 21, but the people who supply you with that drink could face serious consequences if police catch them selling liquor to or buying liquor for you. Police conduct compliance checks to test alcohol vendors to make sure they follow the rules about selling alcohol. Usually, they send a teenager to a liquor store, restaurant, or bar to request alcohol and gauge the clerk’s response.

A clerk who fails to check identification, checks identification and sells to a minor anyway, or accepts a bribe to supply alcohol to a minor can face criminal penalties for doing so. A criminal alcohol offense can have a serious impact on a person’s future, which is why if you face charges for selling or supplying alcohol to a minor in Orlando, you should meet with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your area to discuss your case as soon as possible.

Who Cannot Sell or Supply Alcohol to Minors?

Not even parents can buy alcohol with the intent of giving it to their minor children. Establishments such as restaurants, bars, and liquor stores must abide by strict guidelines when selling alcohol. To legally sell or serve alcohol, these establishments must obtain a liquor license and check the identification of their customers to ensure they are at least 21 years old. When they fail to do so, both the individual sales clerks and the establishments themselves can face penalties.

Penalties for Selling Alcohol to Minors in Florida

Individuals caught providing alcohol to minors can face criminal charges. A first-time offense is a second-degree misdemeanor charge that can result in:

  • Spending up to 60 days in jail
  • Paying a fine of up to $500
  • Civil penalties related to driving privileges

Individuals may also lose their driver’s license through penalties imposed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

In some situations, selling alcohol to a minor is a first-degree misdemeanor offense which can lead to:

  • Up to one year in prison
  • A fine of up to $1,000

Defenses to Selling Alcohol to a Minor

A possible defense to selling alcohol to someone who is under 21 years old may be to show that the minor provided a fake I.D. to convince the defendant that they were old enough to buy liquor. In other cases the police may entrap an unsuspecting and innocent sales clerk to sell the alcohol to someone posing as a minor child. A criminal defense attorney who handles alcohol offenses in Orlando can investigate all the facts of your case to establish a solid defense strategy.

Work with The Umansky Law Firm for aggressive representation. We have over 100 years of combined experience standing up for those who face criminal charges. We firmly believe that everyone is entitled to a second chance. Get your second chance by calling 407-228-3838 or reach out to us online for a free consultation.