Can You Bring Alcohol to the Beach in Florida?

Sun, Oct 11, 2015

General Legal Issues

55586804_02bb0093ea_oWahoo. Party on the beach! Let’s bring some cocktails or throw back a cold one. It’s not a party without alcohol for some. Moreover, some partiers aren’t worried about whether or not it is legal to bring alcohol to the beach—many people figure out how to hide it in plain sight. However, those who are interested in following the letter of the law are usually smart enough to find out where you can bring alcohol to the beach legally.

It’s not a statewide Florida law about where you can and cannot bring alcohol. It usually comes down to city and county laws. It can also depend on who owns the property you are going to—make sure you know where you are.

So if we keep focused on the beach, what are the local rules?

Manatee County

This link spells it out. There is to be no alcohol on the beach in Manatee County. In Holmes Beach, for a while there was a weird law which allowed alcohol on the beach, but didn’t allow you to consume it. More details here. It looks like you could drink alcohol on the causeway a while back too; this article historically discusses that detail.

Longboat Key spans two counties, and has some vaguer rules—it looks like special events could trump the no alcohol rule if it is deemed ok. This link discusses what they designate as ok as far as alcohol on their beaches.

Sarasota County

Sarasota allows alcohol on its beaches as long as it is not in glass containers. That’s a no-no for obvious reasons. This is somewhat unique in Florida, and it comes with its own set of critics. A relatively recent DUI death of a runner on Siesta Key really brought the ability to drink on the beach to the forefront for critics, but it is still allowed for now. Interestingly, Sarasota did try to ban smoking at the beach but they were unsuccessful.

Venice does not allow alcohol on its beaches.

Hillsborough and Pinellas County

Check these rules carefully. Some areas allow alcohol, but most don’t. Make sure you know exactly where you are before you pop the top of a cold one. In addition, don’t bring glass if you do!

Florida State Parks

Most areas are off limits for alcohol, but some areas do allow for it—check the signs and brochures carefully. If in doubt, check with a ranger.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

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