Underage drinking is nothing new in Florida, or across the U.S. for that matter. Nevertheless, any licensed driver under the age of 21 is prohibited from having any alcohol in their system if they’re behind the wheel. But that doesn’t mean those same underage minors pay attention to those laws. In fact, not enough people are aware that there is a “zero tolerance” policy for drinking, something that should be learned in school or during the process of obtaining a license to drive. A Florida underage DUI is, however, a responsibility of parents – both educationally and legally.
Parents and adults of legal age can be legally responsible for a Florida underage DUI
Florida parents, you have the job of informing your children of the risks of drinking if they are under the age of 21. That means the legal risks, as well as how alcohol can cause problems driving, in social situations and in all areas of life. There are reasons for the legal limit of 21 years to consume, possess or purchase alcohol, reasons that save lives. Legally, parents can be held liable for:
- Civil damages and court costs if any property is damaged by an underage DUI.
- Any minor who consumes alcohol at a residential party and is then arrested for a DUI.
Even if you aren’t a parent, but are over age 21, you also have a legal obligation to reduce the risk of a Florida underage DUI. Any adult in Florida can be held legally responsible for purchasing or allowing a minor to drink alcohol. Plus, providing any form of fake identification to a minor is punishable by Florida law.
Parents and all adults can use their age and authority to provide a model for responsible drinking. Studies show that children do listen and follow the example of parents and adults, despite their protests. Drinking alcohol is an adult activity, and with that comes very adult responsibilities to keep underage DUI and drinking out of the picture.