What Happens if an Adult Gives Alcohol to Someone Under 21 Who Causes an Accident?

Video Transcription:
One of the worst things an adult can do is to serve alcohol to someone under the age of 21. Many people may be confused because you are a minor in Florida up until the age of 18 but you still can’t drink until your the age of 21, even though you are classically an adult. The law in Florida is very clear… an adult can’t serve alcohol to someone under the age of 21, period.

This can happen in so many ways. You’re at a tailgating party, you’re at a friend’s house, out to dinner or the kids are over to your house because you’d rather have them drinking at your house than somewhere on the road. But the bottom line is that if an adult serves alcohol to a minor who gets drunk and they cause an accident, that adult who served the alcohol is responsible.

Here’s an example of how this worked when I was a young prosecutor. I was standing in court one time and the judge was explaining to someone who was before the bench about what is going to happen if you do what I’m telling you not to do. And, the judge said “you’re the grass and I’m the lawnmower and if you do this, you know what’s going to happen to you.” And, this is exactly how the law works in holding adults responsible for giving alcohol to someone who is under 21.

Jim Dodson
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.