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Drinking laws college students need to know

School will be starting again soon, which means college students will be back in the watchful eye of local law enforcement and campus discipline. It is important to know relevant laws to avoid getting into trouble that can cause you to lose scholarships, extracurricular privileges and even enrollment.

One area to be most aware of concerns drinking, as partying is a huge part of college life. Make sure you know these laws and how they can affect you.

Furnishing alcohol to minors

Just like kids who try to get adults to buy them tickets to rated R movies, underage drinkers often use legal adults to supply them with alcohol. This may seem commonplace and harmless, but it comes with severe consequences for both parties. Those who give alcohol to minors face charges of a second-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction can bring the following penalties:

  • Up to a $500 fine for the first offense
  • Maximum of 60 days in jail
  • Suspension of driver's license

It is important to note that unlike some states, Florida offers no exceptions to this law. This means that not even parents may allow their minors to drink in their own homes. Be careful to always know how old someone is before serving him or her an alcoholic beverage. Looks alone are not enough to tell, so ask for an ID. If it ends up being fake, that may serve as a defense.

Calling for medical help for alcohol poisoning

Despite strict laws, Florida does not want the fear of punishment to prevent college students from seeking medical help if they or other partygoers have drunk too much. A new law has just gone into effect that gives you amnesty (legal protection) if you call for emergency assistance for yourself or someone else. Saving a life is more important than penalizing a crime. Hopefully, the incident is enough encouragement not to reach that point again.

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