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The truth about underage drinking in florida

Many Florida college students realize the seriousness of underage drinking penalties, but such penalties can create problems for far too long. Just one citation is enough to inflict damage on one's academic success, career options and personal reputation. Some have a tendency to criticize younger crowds for being reckless with alcohol; however, according to some recent sources on underage drinking problems in the state, there are many other factors at play.   

One problem that has recently gained public attention is the financial effects of jailing small-time offenders. According to the Sun Sentinel, South Florida spends millions every year on these offenders alone -- many of whom face arrests for reasons such as public drinking or panhandling. Because it costs the state roughly $50,000 a year to house each offender, commissioners in the area are reconsidering penalties for the following crimes:

  • Petit theft
  • Disorderly conduct and littering
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia 
  • Possession of alcohol by a person under 21 

Other surrounding areas have already taken steps toward reducing strict penalties for these crimes. Miami-Dade, for instance, started a program in 2010 that helps small-crime offenders avoid jail. Instead of immediate jail time, the county issued 311 citations for underage drinking in 2016.   

Amidst the harsh penalties, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that there may be underlying issues with drinking habits. Because the brain does not reach full development until a person's twenties, the NIAAA claims that college students may expose themselves to dangerous situations such as excessive underage drinking. Sensitivity and tolerance are other common factors involved. While some experts approve of the state's strict underage drinking regulations, there appear to be alternative, more beneficial solutions to this problem.    






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