Let’s face it, spring break on Panama City Beach is definitely a wild place to be for the party crowd, and this year is no exception. Videos and pictures of spring break partying are plastered all over the most popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Secret.ly, Whisper.sh, Yik-Yak, WeHub, Snapchat and Instagram. If you’ve checked out any of these sites, you know that the partying sometimes gets out of hand and laws are broken.
Underage drinking and related charges of disorderly conduct, public drunkenness (public intoxication) and driving under the influence (DUI) have risen substantially over the last several weeks on Panama City Beach. Arrest numbers released this week show that since March 5, the Bay County Jail has booked over 900 individuals. Other alcohol related arrests we’ve been contacted about include possession or consumption of alcohol on the right of way, disorderly intoxication in a public place causing a disturbance and indecent exposure.
- In Florida, underage possession of alcohol is a second degree misdemeanor, Florida Statute 562.111(1), which can carry penalties such as loss of driving privileges, jail time and fines.
- Disorderly conduct is usually charged as a second degree misdemeanor, Florida Statute 877.03, but in some instances, such as a “riot” it can be charged as a felony.
To our west, in Walton County, which includes the beaches of Sandestin, Grayton Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seaside, WaterSound and WaterColor, the Sheriff’s Office has instituted a ‘zero tolerance’ for underage drinking. With deputies constantly on the beach checking IDs, over 280 spring breakers have been arrested and booked into the Walton County Jail in March on charges of underage drinking.
- If you are found guilty of Underage Possession of Alcohol, the judge is required to revoke your driver’s license for a minimum of six months.
Contact a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer at The Morris Law Firm – We Put Our Clients First
If you, or your loved one, have been arrested, you will need the help of a reputable and knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney. A good attorney who will fight to protect your rights is critical for avoiding a conviction, the creation of a permanent criminal record and possible jail or probation. Call The Morris Law Firm now at (850) 257-5680. We are available 24/7 to help you and can even schedule a free consultation. With favorable facts, disorderly conduct charges can often be negotiated downward and sometimes dismissed at the earliest stages of a case.