If you have a child and want to make sure that they will not be caught in possession of alcohol while underage, something you can do is take steps to educate them and to limit access to alcohol that you keep at home.
Many times, teens and young adults under the age of 21 are manipulated by peer pressure. They may steal alcohol or throw a party when you’re not home, which exposes you, as a parent, to liability and creates a risk for a minor in possession charge.
What can you do to help your child under 21 avoid a minor in possession charge?
To start with, one of the things you should do is sit down with your child to discuss alcohol and how it could impact them. On top of the physical effects alcohol can cause, you may also want to explain the penalties that they could face if they take alcohol out of your home or serve it to others who are not over the age of 21 while you are away.
For example, you may explain that Florida’s laws may penalize your child with up to 60 days in jail for the possession of alcohol or underage drinking. They could be fined up to $500 and may face probation for up to six months. Violating the underage drinking laws in Florida is a serious crime, though it is still a misdemeanor.
What can you do at home to limit access to alcohol?
If your child has access to alcohol at home and you are concerned about that access leading to trouble if they take your alcohol or share it with others when you’re not present, then you may consider locking it in a cabinet that only you have a key to. You might alcohol consider keeping alcohol outside of your home, such as if you store it in a refrigerator in a locked garage or in another place for safekeeping.
Something as simple as a time- or code-locked safe could also help prevent your child from stealing alcohol that is in your home, which can limit their access and reduce the likelihood of a minor in possession charge.