Coral Springs is thinking about fining parents who permit underage drinking at home. If such a measure is passed, Coral Springs would be among many other towns and cities across the country using civil ordinances to make parents accountable for underage drinking. Despite this already being a Florida state law, there is a worry about how the ordinance would be enforced.
“The fear for me is the cops get there and everybody leaves and God forbid somebody gets in an accident,” said City Commissioner Tom Powers.
Prosecutors try to bring criminal charges against the parents, but the cases are often dismissed for lack of evidence. Prosecutors must prove the adult hosts knew alcohol was being consumed by minors and did nothing to stop the drinking.
“It is problematic for us,” said Duncan Foster, Coral Springs Police Chief. “We have a ton of parties and alcohol is always involved. There have been times we had parents say they can’t police everybody, especially when a couple hundred kids show up to these parties.”