It is no secret that Florida has some of the world’s best beaches. Whether you are a state resident or simply here to spend time enjoying the thousands of miles of gorgeous coastline, you may wonder whether it is legal to have a beer, glass of wine or cocktail while relaxing in your beach chair. The answer varies depending on which beach town you decide to visit.

Before bringing your cooler on your next Florida beach trip, explore beaches where drinking is legal and learn about the fines in locations that prohibit alcohol.

Beaches where you can imbibe

Some of the Florida coastal towns that allow alcohol on their world-class beaches include the following:

  • Cocoa Beach, provided you use plastic rather than a prohibited glass bottle
  • Lido Key, for a relaxing experience as long as you leave the glass bottles at home
  • Madiera Beach, which allows drinking from plastic bottles or cups only
  • Redington Beach, with the same glass bottle prohibition as Cocoa Beach
  • Siesta Key, which also prohibits glass bottles
  • Petersburg Beach, which allows beach drinking only for registered guests of the city’s beachfront hotels who are consuming the beverages within a rented cabana
  • Treasure Island, which permits alcoholic beverages from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Turtle Beach, a hotspot for camping and wildlife, allows alcoholic beverages without the glass bottles

Penalties for public drinking

If you have an open container of alcohol or are visibly intoxicated on a beach that does not allow drinking, you could receive a misdemeanor charge. You could receive a fine of up to $250 as well as up to 90 days in jail. However, public drinking is usually only a ticketed offense, especially if you have no prior convictions.

Plan ahead when you want to drink on a Florida beach. Check the website of your desired location to confirm that the beach permits alcohol and the associated regulations, and make sure you have a designated driver to avoid DUI.