Cops checking IDs for Florida-Georgia drinkers
Officials cracking down on underage drinking
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Over Halloween weekend the Jacksonville Sheriff Office is heightening and tightening security as more than 80,000 expected fans flood downtown for the big Florida-Georgia Game.
Many of the festivities for the weekend have already kicked off Friday night, so the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office will be patrolling the area to make sure things do not get out of hand.
Specifically, they're on the lookout for those drinking underage, and officers have already begun carding people with alcohol on the streets near the stadium.
Last year hundreds of citations were handed out so this year, even though they want everyone to have fun, officers are cracking down.
"Underage drinking is prohibited. We'll have officers there strictly enforcing that over the weekend," a spokesperson for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.
Every year JSO hands out dozens of citations to underage drinkers and this year even more police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be flooding Jacksonville in uniform and undercover.
But law enforcement officers are not the only ones looking out for people's safety.
"It's a college weekend and so there are young people in town and we just want to make sure that everyone is safe," David Joudi, owner of Riverside Liquors, said.
Which is why Joudi and his employees at Riverside Liquors are being even more diligent checking ID's.
"With the influx of young people, of course some of them are going to try to buy liquor, some are going to try to buy beer and wine and we just want to make sure that everyone is of age in order to keep them safe," Joudi said.
Some customers are even enjoying being carded and the extra step for safety.
"So many incidents are caused by underage drinking and it makes me feel more secure being out in the streets," football fan Ashley Woodham said.
Joudi wants to remind people that everyone who comes in to buy alcohol in a group has to have an ID. One group was denied purchase when one friend left her ID at home. Joudi said that if everyone in the party doesn't have an ID, a purchase can't be made.
"A lot of times you even get two people come in and one of them has an ID and the other one doesn't," Joudi said.
But anyone who is 21 and up and planning on hitting the streets for Florida-Georgia and Halloween weekend, authorities want to remind people to still monitor their drinking and always have a designated driver.
"Call a cab or if you have Uber on your phone. Don't overindulge, because when you overindulge you don't have a good time anyway and a lot of times you forget all about it," Joudi said.
As far as penalties for someone found drinking underage goes the law is very clear.
- If one is found guilty of Underage Possession of Alcohol, the court is required to revoke one's driver's license for a minimum of six months and possible jail time.
- Second offenses is a first degree misdemeanor which can result in a maximum penalty of twelve months in jail.
- If found guilty of under age possession of alcohol with a prior conviction, the court is required to revoke one's driver's license for two years.
Copyright 2015 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.