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The Penalties of Underage Drinking

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

October 19, 2020

Underage drinking on Florida’s college campuses is unfortunately common and problematic. In addition to violating state laws, underage drinking is associated with injuries and deaths from car accidents, alcohol poisoning, suicide and more. Many Florida colleges and universities have established policies and punishments related to campus activities in response to this problem. These punishments may be applied in addition to the penalties faced through a legal conviction.

What Classifies as Underaged Drinking in Florida?

In Florida, it is illegal to consume, purchase, or possess alcohol if you are under 21. The law applies throughout the state and even extends to college campuses. While college students are legally adults and are responsible for their actions, colleges may assume some liability for the events on campus. Because of this, higher education institutions across the state take this matter seriously.

Penalties a first-time offender may face if charged with underage drinking are:

  • $500 fine
  • Maximum 60 days in jail
  • Maximum 6 months on probation

Additionally, if this is a second or third offense, up to a year in jail or on probation and a $1000 fine may be ruled. Regardless of whether this is a first or third offense, the underaged drinker may have their license revoked for a minimum of six months.

Underage Drinking in Florida’s Universities

College students are required to follow all local, state, and federal laws at all times, regardless if they are permanent residents of the state or not. They are also bound by the school’s ethical code of conduct. Each code of conduct varies slightly, but most of these codes clearly outline restrictions and consequences for underage drinking. These codes may extend off-campus to fraternity and sorority houses, college sporting events, and other sponsored or affiliated events involving students.

Consequences for Underage Drinking on Campus

Each higher education institution across the country is required to inform students about laws related to drug and alcohol use. They also educate students about the penalties for breaking these laws and violating school rules. Various types of alcohol abuse counseling and treatment programs must also be available.

Many colleges in Florida go above and beyond these requirements by placing students on probation or suspension if they break the rules. Schools may also deny financial aid to pay for college expenses and may even expel the student.

Contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. Today

Underage drinking can have severe consequences for college students, and these can impact your life for the next several years or longer. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we are ready to build a defense for the charges that you face. Contact us today by calling (305) 330-1360 schedule a consultation with a member of our team.