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Alcohol Beverage Laws in Florida

In 2018, Florida has a total of 10,591 arrests for Liquor Law Violations reported to the Florida UCR program. Of these arrests, 10,186 were adults and 405 were juveniles. The county of Pinellas County, had the highest number of liquor law violations.

Over the past 10 years, the number of such violations being charged in Florida has dropped by more than 50%.

The vast number of these offenses involve allegations of a person under the age of 21 years old being in possession of alcohol. Most of these cases involve elaborate sting operations set up to catch young people drinking at sporting events, concerts, or clubs

Attorneys for Liquor Laws in Florida

With offices located in downtown Tampa, FL, the attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients charged with crimes involving alcoholic beverages throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.

Our attorneys are particularly experienced in representing high school and college students charged with being in possession of alcohol before their 21st birthday.

If you were accused of a crime, then contact us for a free consultation.

Call 813-250-0500.


Types of Beverage Laws in Florida

Under Chapter 562, Florida’s beverage law prohibits the following acts:
  • The crime of “Possession of Alcohol Beverage Under 21” is a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense under Florida Statute Section 562.111(1).
    • The statute makes it unlawful for any person under the age of 21, unless operating within the scope of his or her employment, to have in his or her possession alcoholic beverages.
    • As a second degree misdemeanor, the statute of limitations for the offense is one year.
  • The crime of “Possession of Alcohol Beverage Under 21” is a first-degree misdemeanor for a second or repeat offense under Florida Statute Section 562.111(1).
    • The statute makes it unlawful for any person under the age of 21 who has been convicted of a violation of a section of 562.111(1) and who is thereafter convicted of a further violation of said section.
    • As a first degree misdemeanor, the statute of limitations for this offense is two (2) years.
  • The crime of “Selling Alcohol Beverage to a Person Under 21” is a second-degree felony for a first offense charged under Florida Statute Section 562.11(1)(a).
    • The statute prohibits a person from selling, giving, serving or permitting another 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 the licensed premises.
    • As a misdemeanor of the second degree, the statute of limitations is two (2) years.
  • The crime of “Sell Alcohol Beverage to a Person Under 21” for a second or subsequent time within a one (1) year period after a prior conviction is charged as a misdemeanor of the first degree.
    • As a misdemeanor of the first degree, the statute of limitations is two (2) years.

Additional Resources

Liquor Law Violations in Florida – Visit the FDLE website to find the UCR definition of “Liquor Law Violations” which includes ordinances or laws prohibiting the use, possession, transportation, purchase, sale, or manufacture of intoxicating alcoholic beverages. Florida’s statutes for liquor law violations include: 562.61 Sale, offer for sale, purchase, or use of alcohol vaporizing devices prohibited; 562.455 Adulterating liquor; 562.453 Curb drinking of intoxicating liquor prohibited; 562.452 Curb service of intoxicating liquor prohibited; or 562.451 Moonshine whiskey; ownership, possession, or control prohibited.


This article was last updated on Monday, March 16, 2020.

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