Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Monday, October 26, 2015
Before the rush of excitement for the beginning of fall classes, many students used the last weekend of the summer to celebrate their freedom.
With that being the case, it was perfectly logical for the UCF Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol to set up a DUI checkpoint along Alafaya Trail that Friday.
If you were in the area on Aug. 21 you would have noticed the flashing road sign that read, “Underage? Under Arrest!”
Incoming freshmen need to be extremely aware of the crackdown UCF now has on underage drinking. If you think your fake ID is flawless, think again. We can’t pretend that underage drinking doesn’t exist, but all college students need to be responsible when it comes to consuming alcohol.
When students are celebrating their newfound freedom, they are not celebrating the fact that they don’t have any more rules to follow.
Although their parents are no longer able to keep them under strict limits, students need to take the responsibility that goes hand in hand with going to college.
It’s been under speculation whether UCF should provide a taxi service for students who want to toss back a few at the nearby bars. Being in college means you’re trusted to make adult decisions and to know your limitations. There are also plenty of taxi services, such as Uber, Supreme Taxi Orlando and 10/10 Taxi, which has a flat rate of only $10 within a five-mile radius, that are affordable for college students.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the UCF area is No. 1 for underage DUI problems. In 2013, more than 200 students were charged with driving under the influence — a 48 percent increase from 2012.
This is a serious problem. The best thing to do is simple: If you’re not 21, don’t drink.
But if you’re underage and you’re going to take part in this activity that, let’s face it, is pretty much college tradition, then do yourself and everyone a favor and consume your alcoholic beverages at a dorm or a house party.
This prevents you from harming others while drinking and driving and ultimately saves you the embarrassment from being arrested while holding your fake ID.
Knowing your limits is the first step to consuming alcohol. Those who aren’t sure should stick to one or two drinks in order to keep their composure and make smart decisions.
It’s also very important to eat before you drink. Trust me, you don’t want a cocktail or two being the only thing swimming around your stomach.
Most people are under the misconception that food will also sober you up, but the only thing that can actually stimulate your sobriety is time. So if you feel the effects of alcohol early on, be responsible and stop drinking.
Tiffani Daniel is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
UCF Campus Alcohol Vendors Talk Proper Licensing
Alcohol on college campuses is nothing new. Beer cans and liquor bottles abound at every football tailgate, at every party and in practically every dorm-room refrigerator.
But one of the only ways to get alcohol legally on campus is through a select set of restaurants that each received special permission and followed strict regulations from both the university and the state government regarding selling and using these beverages.
According to UCF policy 3-115.1, there are only a certain number of places and organizations allowed to sell alcoholic beverages on campus, including athletics facilities such as Bright House Networks Stadium and houses occupied by sororities or fraternities.
The alcoholic beverages that are sold on campus must be consumed in the facility where the product was purchased. These locations include the Student Union, Bright House Networks Stadium, Fairwinds Alumni Center, Knights Plaza, the Live Oak and Cypress Room, and the CFE Arena.
In each of these locations, either UCF directors or the UCF Convocation Corporation set the hours, days and conditions for the sale.
These vendors aren’t allowed to offer free beverages for any purpose, offer drinks for more than 50 percent off their advertised price or offer any kind of discount promotions during home football gamedays.
Individuals who are above the legal drinking age of 21 are allowed to consume alcohol in their dorm rooms, fraternity or sorority houses or at any student or school-sponsored function that has had prior approval and complies with the university’s policy.
Wackadoo’s Grub and Brew in the Student Union is one of the vendors that has permission to serve wine and beer on campus. The restaurant’s menu reads, “We proudly serve a wide selection of bottled and draught beers.”
“[We] decided to include it in our menu in order to keep the UCF community on campus,” said Scott Kelly, Wackadoo’s co-owner.
But after receiving permission from the school, Kelly said he then had to apply for a license from Florida’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.
According to the Division’s website, in order to sell beer or wine, a vendor must purchase a consumption-on-premise license, which allows customers to consume the alcoholic beverage on property, or a package license, which allows the customer to purchase the beverage on property and then remove it from the property to be consumed somewhere else. These licenses are unlimited — there aren’t any restrictions on the number that can be issued.
In order to sell liquor, however, a vendor must purchase or apply for a quota license, which is limited based on a county’s population. These licenses can only be obtained by winning a lottery with an entry period that begins on the third Monday in August and ends 45 days after each year. They can also be obtained by purchasing the license from someone who is seeking to sell theirs.
With any license, the vendor must fill out an application form and pay an annual fee, which can range from $28 to $1,820. For quota licenses, there is a one-time fee of $10,750, plus additional transfer costs with a license is being purchased from another vendor.
Restaurants can also apply for a special license called an SRX, which allows restaurants to sell beer, wine and liquor for consumption on the premises, as long as certain conditions are met. For example, the restaurant has to derive 51 percent of its revenue from food and non-alcoholic beverages to qualify.
Being able to use and serve alcohol on campus has been a big draw for many of the UCF-based vendors.
The Pop Parlour sells alcohol-infused ice pops to customers in Knight Plaza, and owner Brandon Chandler said he first had to receive permission from the school. But he said the extra paperwork has paid off.
“The alcohol pops have already been a good part of our business,” Chandler said. “We have seen them all over social media, and they are a big reason a lot of people have come in.”
Despite the strict regulations at both the university and state levels, Kelly also said that the benefits outweighed the trouble it took to obtain a license.
“Anything that benefits the UCF community is always worth it,” he said.
Deanna Ferrante is a Senior Staff Writer and Watchdog Reporter for the Central Florida Future.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Laws regulating liquor licenses have always been challenged and discussed by all business owners, local or not. The truth is that this segment of the entertainment market has the potential to bring significant amounts of profit and business owners are not going to let these sums slide through their fingers. At least, this is what a part of the Winter Park community of Orange County is arguing. This is one city that is determined to make a difference and it does not seem willing to quit on its goals. Apparently, the problem is simple, at least when having to expose it. It seems that a change is desired as far as the 1965 law that currently regulates the issue of liquor licenses in the city of Winter Park. This act is the reason for which several businesses were not awarded with licenses, as they do not fulfill the required conditions.
You might think that this legislative act is accepted statewide, but the truth is that there are certain differences, which of course separate Winter Park from other locations. Apparently, the 1965 act states that establishments holding 200 seats will receive licenses, while statewide, the 150 seats will grant you with the permission to sell liquor. Still, businesses that have applied for a license of this kind have received approval, even if the establishments did not have 200 seats. In other words, the statewide provisions have been preferred instead of the ones listed in the 1965 bill. So far, there have not been any difficulties and most importantly no complaints. Still, a change with undisclosed reasons has appeared, a change that has made the 1965 act valid once more. Consequently, several entrepreneurs have been denied the right to sell alcohol because of the insufficient number of seats. As expected, this fact has displeased a great number of individuals, who have not been shy about showing their disapproval. The question is what has triggered the change. What has made the bill valid once more? According to the unpleased crowd, there is not point is putting aside Winter Park from other cities.
Frankly, there is some truth to the message launched by the crowd. Business is what holds this city strong, as anywhere else in the world. Once you begin to cause difficulties and problems in this domain, scaring off all potential investors, the city itself will be the one suffering. Entertainment will also be a profitable domain, no matter how many people agree with this idea or not. Therefore, liquor licenses will be demanded on a regular basis by a great number of clients. Why force these entrepreneurs to start off with a large investment, making it difficult for them to recover it? The matter is still under the debate, although several other provisions have been accepted. It seems that things are about to change and entrepreneurs might be getting some rather good news. In all accounts, complicating the business environment is never a good idea, especially in locations with an increased level of potential like Winter Park, Orange County.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Generally speaking, obtaining a liquor license is of paramount importance for every business that either desires to enter the alcoholic beverages retail business or to generate some extra income by making available the purchase of alcohol such as restaurants or grocery stores. But obtaining the permit truly represents the hard part owing to the fact that in the United States the permits are released according to the regulations of each state. The regulations are meant to control the quantities of alcohol that are being sold and in order to limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages to a certain age. According to the license purchased, the business owner is required to meet a couple of specifications. For instance, in the state of Florida, the selling of alcohol is forbidden between 3 and 7 a.m. although each member county is given the possibility of modifying the state regulations as it desires.
A clear example of this is represented by the city of Ormond Beach that has decided to abandon the Blue Law statute. The Blue Law refers to the fact that some activities are limited on Sunday for religious considerations. Although the ban is of a religious nature, merchants are prohibited from commercializing alcoholic beverages. The reason for which the authorities have decided to remove the ban is explained by the fact that many small businesses were losing customer that preferred to go Daytona Beach instead. If you take into consideration the fact that restaurants, whether indoor or outdoor, obtain more than 50% of profits from the sale of wine than from offering exquisite menus, then it is pretty clear why a liquor license can represent the equivalent of increased revenues. In addition to this, the committee of Volusia County has reached the conclusion that the Blue Law has become quite out-of-date. Nevertheless, the competent authorities have not given up on the regulations that prohibit revenues from selling alcoholic beverages between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., whether indoor or outdoor, owing to the fact that by allowing people to purchase alcohol at late hours might set a bad example for the community and thus resulting in an increased crime rate. Besides this, the behavior of inebriated people risks of disturbing the general population. For instance, Florida has been subject many times to incidents related to the overconsumption of alcohol.
The recent reports of shooting incidents, particularly those of Daytona Beach where the shootings were accompanied by acts of violence such as assaults and even stabbing, have led to the closing of bottle clubs in order to prevent such unpleasant situations. In other words, the bottle clubs from Volusia County are required to comply with the same regulations. To conclude, it is clear that no one can escape state regulations and that the modifications that each county can apply to the existing regulations are significantly limited. Besides the reasons presented before, alcohol bans on beaches are maintained in order to preserve the general order because many people tend to dump the trash on the beaches thus littering.