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Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

Florida Statute § 562.111 makes it unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years, except a person employed by certain authorized vendors acting in the scope of her or his employment, to have in her or his possession alcoholic beverages. State law also makes it a criminal offense for a person to provide alcoholic beverages to a person less than 21 years of age.

The specific criminal charges that a person faces will depend on whether the alleged offender sold, gave, served, or provided alcohol in some other way to a minor. Convictions for these offenses are punishable by large fines as well as possible jail time.

Lawyer for Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Arrests in Gainesville, FL

If you were arrested in north central Florida for allegedly providing alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21 years, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel.

Galigani Law Firm aggressively defends college students in Union County, Columbia County, Baker County, Bradford County, and many other nearby communities in the greater Gainesville area. Dean Galigani is an experienced criminal defense attorney who is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar.

Call (352) 375-0812 to have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Offenses in Alachua County


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Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Charges in Florida

Under Florida Statute § 562.11(1)(a)1., a person cannot sell, give, serve, or permit to be served alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 years of age or permit a person under 21 years of age to consume such beverages on a licensed premises. A first offense is a second-degree misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent offense within one year of the prior conviction is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Florida Statute § 562.11(1)(d) establishes that any person charged with selling alcohol to a minor has a complete defense if, at the time the alcoholic beverage was sold, given, served, or permitted to be served under the following circumstances:

  • The buyer or recipient falsely evidenced that he or she was 21 years of age or older;
  • The appearance of the buyer or recipient was such that a prudent person would believe the buyer or recipient to be 21 years of age or older;
  • The offender carefully checked the buyer’s driver license or an identification card issued by this state or another state of the United States, a passport, or a United States Uniformed Services identification card presented by the buyer or recipient; and
  • The offender acted in good faith and in reliance upon the representation and appearance of the buyer or recipient in the belief that the buyer or recipient was 21 years of age or older.

Florida Statute § 562.11(1)(b), also known as “the Christopher Fugate Act,” also prohibits a licensee, or his or her or its agents, officers, servants, or employees, from providing alcoholic beverages to a person younger than 21 years of age who is employed by the licensee except as authorized, and permitting a person younger than 21 years of age who is employed by the licensee to consume alcoholic beverages on the licensed premises or elsewhere while in the scope of employment.

A violation of this statute is a first-degree misdemeanor.

In some cases, alleged offenders may be charged with the crime of contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child. Under Florida Statute § 827.04, a person commits this crime if he or she:

  • Commits any act which causes, tends to cause, encourages, or contributes to a child becoming a delinquent or dependent child or a child in need of services; or
  • Induces or endeavors to induce, by act, threat, command, or persuasion, a child to commit or perform any act, follow any course of conduct, or live in a manner that causes or tends to cause such child to become or to remain a dependent or delinquent child or a child in need of services.

Contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child is a first-degree misdemeanor, and it is not necessary for any court exercising juvenile jurisdiction to make an adjudication that a child is delinquent or dependent or a child in need of services in order to prosecute a violation of Florida Statute § 827.04.

An adjudication that a child is delinquent or dependent or a child in need of services does not preclude a subsequent prosecution of a contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child violation.


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Alachua County Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Penalties

Convictions for misdemeanor offenses in Florida are generally punishable as follows:

  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 fines; or 
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 fines.

Alleged violations of Florida Statute § 562.11(1)(a)1 can also result in a court ordering the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to withhold the issuance of, or suspend or revoke, the driver license or driving privilege of the alleged offender.


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Florida Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Resources

Operation Spring Break | Alachua County Sheriff's Office — Since 1995, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office has assisted local law enforcement during the week of Spring Break by having Alachua County Deputies "perform law enforcement functions with special attention to occurrences that involve open parties, vandalism, fights, and an unrestrained use of alcohol and drugs by many underage students during Spring Break." View a Parent's Guide To Spring Break on this section of the Sheriff's Office website. Learn more about what parents should know about Spring Break at the beach and why the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office works on the beaches of St. Johns County.

Alachua County Sheriff's Office
2621 SE Hawthorne Rd.
Gainesville, FL 32641
(352) 367-4000

Alachua County Community Health Assessment | WellFlorida — WellFlorida is one of the state’s 11 local health councils, a network of nonprofit agencies that conduct regional health planning and implementation activities. View the full text of this report that WellFlorida Council produced for the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. The report notes that Alachua County had higher rates of alcohol abuse compared to Florida.


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Galigani Law Firm | Gainesville Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Defense Attorney

Were you arrested for allegedly providing alcoholic beverages to a person less than 21 years of age in north central Florida? Do not make any statement to authorities until you have first contacted Galigani Law Firm.

Gainesville criminal defense lawyer Dean Galigani represents individuals in several communities throughout the Gainesville area, including Marion County, Alachua County, Gilchrist County, and Levy County. You can have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (352) 375-0812 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.



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