Changes could lead to underage drinking during spring break

Changes could lead to underage drinking during spring break

Proposed legislation in one of America’s most popular spring break
locations has sparked concern throughout several communities. Scores of
Maryland students travel to Florida for spring break, and they could have
easier access to alcohol if the new legislation is passed. The measure
would make it legal to purchase hard alcohol at a grocery store, a move
that some opponents say would encourage
underage drinking throughout the year.

The new legislation would allow big-box stores and grocery stores to include
a liquor aisle next to other, traditional items. Currently, big-box stores
are permitted to sell liquor, but customers are required to use a separate
entrance. Law enforcement professionals say that this move could be problematic,
especially with a popular vacation time approaching. Florida’s spring
break culture could cause college students and high school students to
face serious penalties if they are found in possession of alcohol.

Even though detractors say that the bill should not be approved because
of Florida’s unique social environment, the bill’s sponsors
argue that it is time for change. Legislators say that underage drinkers
are less likely to choose hard alcohol, anyway, with beer instead serving
as the beverage of choice. Big-box stores are also on board with the change,
though industry representatives worry that inexperienced cashiers may
not be prepared to identify fake identification.

Maryland residents who find themselves in trouble with the juvenile law
system in another state for underage drinking may benefit from the assistance
of a criminal defense attorney. These professionals may be able to help
defendants and their parents learn more about legal rights and options.
Those accused of underage drinking deserve to have their rights protected,
even during spring break.

Source: News Channel 7, “Booze at the Grocery Store” No author given, Feb. 26, 2014