Rules when visiting Florida

Florida Guide > Hints and Tips

There are many rules and regulations in Florida that are ready to catch out the first time tourist. It is as well to know about these or you could at best get a ticking off from a local sheriff or at worst get yourself arrested.

One of the ones that catch out a lot of young visitors is the rule about alcohol. Although it is unfortunately quite common in the UK to see teenagers staggering around drunk in the early hours of the morning on a Friday and Saturday, in America no one under the age of 21 is allowed to purchase or consume alcohol. There is no point thinking you will be able to get away with lying about your age, as all places that serve alcohol will require photo ID In the form of a passport or Drivers License. There are very heavy penalties on stores or clubs and restaurants that are caught selling or serving alcohol to minors so they will ask anyone who looks under 30 for their ID.

Nobody under 21 will be admitted to any nightclub so if you are a young looking 30 year old, do take your ID with you.

It is also against the law for anyone of any age to drink in the street so if you are used to swigging lager on your way down the street after a night out – forget it - you will be arrested. The rules on alcohol are nothing like they are in Europe.

As for driving, no foreign visitor under the age of 21 can hire a car in Florida. For older drivers please be aware that speeding is not tolerated and they have many ways of catching you that you will not notice whilst you are driving. They will fine you on the spot. You must always carry your drivers license with you when you are driving and be able to produce it if you are pulled over for any reason.

Jaywalking (not using crossings or crossing when the red hand is up on the lights) is also illegal and you can be arrested for this.

Finally, topless or nude sunbathing or swimming is an absolute no, no. Even babies as young as two cannot play on a beach in public view naked. This includes your own private villa if you can be seen by the public from your pool area.

In the theme parks you will not be admitted wearing a bikini top (ladies) or topless (men) and walking barefooted is not allowed either.

Sorry for all the bad news but it is just as well to know these things so you don’t inadvertently break the law.

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