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DUI » Gasparilla Survival Guide » Gasparilla Underage Drinking

Underage Drinking at the Gasparilla Pirate Festival

Hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, Florida, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival is an annual festival provided for fun, entertainment and partying for all local residents. This fun, however, does not come without a cost. In fact, the festival has become notorious for the alcohol-related arrests that occur during its timeline; in 2010, there were over 400 arrests made in regarding to alcohol and loitering. Some of the most prominent forms of arrests that are made are in regards to underage drinking that can occur during the January festival. Florida draws a tough line when it comes to minors drinking alcohol and there is no exception - regardless of the festive atmosphere.

Per Florida Statutes §562.111, the possession of an alcoholic beverage by a minor under the legal drinking age is considered to be a misdemeanor of the second degree. A second degree misdemeanor can result in penalties that include imprisonment not exceeding sixty days and / or a monetary fine of $500, as well as the suspension or revocation of their driver's license by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. For secondary offenses, this can be elevated to a first degree misdemeanor while includes the possibility of license suspension or revocation, as well as a fine up to $1000 and imprisonment up to a year.

Charged as a minor in possession at Gasparilla? We can help!

If you are under 21 years of age and you have been criminally charged for being in possession of an alcoholic beverage, you are not alone. The Tampa police have recently begun to enforce a "Zero Tolerance" policy that cracks down on all illegal forms of drinking - especially minors in possession. If caught, police have warned that all underage drinking will be held at a specific holding facility until their parent or a legal guardian shows up to take possession of them. If they do not have a local address, they can be taken to jail.

It is also important to note that criminal charges pertaining to fraudulent identification is a felony and can often be charged along with being a minor in possession. At Thomas & Paulk, we encourage all of those who are attending the Gasparilla Pirate Festival to stay safe and to avoid illegal behavior. If, however, you have been arrested, it is important to remember that you are not without hope. There are specific defenses that can be mounted for your benefit and our firm is prepared to help you in every way possible. No matter the specifics of your case, you can be confident knowing that we will do everything that we can to help you defense your best interests.

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