By: Lanetra Bennett
April 18, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - It's prom season... and while some schools in our area have already partied on their special night, State officials would still like to remind students, schools, and parents to put safety first.
Laura Jay at Narcissus Boutique in Tallahassee says, "It's so much fun. This is what we love to do--help any girl any age find her perfect dress."
But, prom night isn't just about the glitz and glamour.
The Florida Department of Business Regulations encourages teens to celebrate the 2013 season safely by not drinking.
Local high school student Jentry Hoxie says, "Drinking and driving is a dumb mistake. They could get in a whole bunch of trouble and ultimately kill themselves or kill other people."
Kimberly Ennis says she communicated with her daughter when she went to prom last year, which is exactly what state officials urge parents to do.
Ennis says, "We spoke about if you do need to get home and you don't have a way home that we will come and get you regardless, no questions asked. The important part is that you make it home safe."
High School Student Devin Estes says, "They know what kind of kid I am. They don't really have too much of a trouble about me. So, they don't really talk to me about it because they don't really expect me to do it. So, you're not going to do it? I'm not going to do it. I don't want to die on prom night."
To reduce underage drinking, in 2011, the Florida Legislature passed a law that makes parents legally liable for underage drinking at open house parties.
High School Student Daniel Elias says, "If you want to go to a party or something, you got to get crunk."
State officials say get crunk *without* alcohol.
Underage possession and consumption of alcohol and buying alcohol for or selling to a minor are second-degree misdemeanors, which could result in up to 60 days in jail and fines.
STUDENTS, PARENTS ENCOURAGED TO CELEBRATE PROM SAFELY BY DBPR AND FLORIDA DISTRICT SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) today encouraged teens to celebrate the 2013 prom season safely by not drinking. Additionally, DBPR and FADSS urged parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and reminded parents that house parties where alcohol is consumed by minors are illegal and dangerous.
“Prom is a very exciting time of year for young adults,” said DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson. “Keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors is a priority at the Department, and we ask that minors and their parents choose to celebrate safely.”
Underage possession and consumption of alcohol and buying alcohol for or selling to a minor are second-degree misdemeanors, and violations could result in up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. In 2011, to reduce the frequency of underage drinking in the state, Florida’s Legislature passed a law to make parents criminally liable for allowing underage consumption of alcohol at open house parties. Prior to the passage of the additional language, adults who allowed open house parties where alcohol was present could only face civil penalties.
“Student safety has always been a top priority for Florida school superintendents,” states FADSS CEO and Florida Sen. Bill Montford. “FADSS is proud to join with DBPR to help spread the message about the dangers of underage drinking and further raise awareness of this important issue.”
The Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco routinely performs compliance checks at licensed establishments to identify the sale of alcohol to minors. The Division is charged with enforcing Florida’s alcoholic beverage laws, including the prohibitions against underage drinking, and regularly conducts compliance and enforcement checks throughout the state.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
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More information about DBPR is available online at www.myfloridalicense.com. Also, follow @FloridaDBPR on Twitter or Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Facebook for updates about license cycles, events and other important news.