Time and time again, this blog has reiterated the fact that Florida is tough on drunk driving. In fact, much of the nation takes DUI charges very seriously, often giving very harsh penalties to first-time offenders. Efforts to ban drive-up alcohol sales in several states show us some of this staunch disapproval of drunk driving.
Here in Florida, drive-through sales of packaged alcohol--such as beer and wine--is legal. In fact, many Jacksonville residents may have taken advantage of the convenience of picking up beverages to bring to a party or take back home at a drive-through window. But, some are saying these kinds of alcohol sales are tied to drunk driving rates, prompting a couple of municipalities in other states to ban them.
Owners of these stores say that they do not encourage drunk driving, and that just because someone makes the purchase while inside a vehicle, it does not mean they will drink and drive.
Nonetheless, concern about preventing drunk driving accidents across the country is causing many advocate groups to ramp up efforts to outlaw these alcohol stores. Back in 1998, there was actually a federal amendment that would have banned drive-up alcohol sales nationwide, but the effort did not pass.
Regardless of the future of this issue, those who are charged with drunk driving need to remember that Florida authorities will take the charges very seriously and drivers should, too. A skilled criminal defense attorney will question whether the initial traffic stop and arrest were lawful, and work to resolve the case in the best possible way.
Source: USA Today, "Concern over drive-up alcohol sales spurs efforts at ban," Alison Bath, July 10, 2012