Florida – A news article posted on gainesville.com states that drunk driving results in approximately 290,000 injuries per year and over 10,250 fatalities each year. Sadly, drunk driving injuries and deaths are 100% preventable accidents. According to Mothers against drunk driving (MADD), the statistics regarding drunk driving are unbelievable. For example, adults drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs approximately 121 million times each year.
One new proposal to end drinking and driving involves adopting a universal “show ID” law in the state of Florida when purchasing alcohol. In other words, regardless of how old an individual appears to be, all persons would be required to show ID to purchase beer, wine, or liquor in the state of Florida.
The law is already in effect in the state of Tennessee. In 2007, Tennessee became the first US state to adopt a law that requires mandatory universal carding of patrons purchasing wine, liquor, or beer at convenience stores, grocery stores, and package stores. However, the law does not include alcohol sales at restaurants or bars. Many see that as a loophole and believe the law should also apply to alcohol sold at bars and restaurants throughout Tennessee.
Fortunately, many grocery stores chains have adopted a mandatory carding program. For example, Wegmans, a supermarket chain with over 100 in stores, requires a patron To provide proof of age regardless “if the customer appears 21 or 101.”
The law is intended to significantly reduce underage drinking, which often leads to underage drinking and driving. Some safety advocates believe that this law could also be used as a deterrent to drinking and driving and other criminal offenses such as disorderly conduct or public drunk.
The law would enable state and local officials or law enforcement to revoke the license of an offender, which would also take away a person’s right to purchase alcohol by default.
The law would also severely punished businesses that sells liquor or alcoholic beverages to customers who are not eligible to purchase alcohol because of their age or because of a previous alcohol-related criminal conviction. For example, a business owner could face a revocation of their liquor license, face stiff fines, and even face time in jail.
One of the top concerns about such a proposal is that the law could create a resurgence in the “Prohibition Era “entities such as speakeasies. This concern could easily be mitigated by adopting severe punishments such as mandatory prison time for owners found guilty of running illegal alcohol-serving establishments. In addition, owners could also be held financially and criminally liable for injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by drunk patrons who drive and cause an accident.
Those in favor of such legislation believe that the law would not produce an undue burden on businesses. Businesses would only be required to Take a moment and swipe the customer’s driver’s license and confirm their age and eligibility to purchase wine, beer, or liquor. Moreover, businesses could receive a tax write-off after purchasing the scanning equipment and software required to comply with said law.
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