In the past, the Tampa Police Department has arrested between 200 and 400 people each Gasparilla weekend on DUI and other alcohol-related charges. Nowadays, many people are issued civil citations for violating open container laws which includes a fine of $75 – $450. In 2012, TPD issued 302 open containers violation civil citations, and 8 others were arrested for DUI and 27 were cited for underage drinking.
While you should be able to enjoy the Gasparilla Pirate Invasion without waking up with a criminal record, understand that you must take certain precautions in order to protect yourself from suffering this fate. Keep in mind that the TPD will be using mobile surveillance camera units in order to identify troublemakers. The Tampa Police will also use Bobcat Golf Carts, bicycles, Segways and horses to stop fights, drunk drivers and find lost children.
- You Must be 21 or older to consume alcohol
- Open containers are only permitted in designated areas
- Alcohol cannot be consumed from kegs or large vessels
- Alcohol Must be Purchased from vendors
- Plastic Bottles and Cans are permitted, but no glass or Styrofoam cups or containers are allowed
- Public Urination will not be tolerated
- No Fighting
- No Property damage
- No Trespassing – the parade does travel through residential neighborhoods, so be respectful of other people’s private property.
- No nudity
- No Public intoxication
- No Driving Under the Influence
- No Weapons
- No Illegal Drugs
- No Coolers
The Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to be safe this weekend. We recommend the following:
- Plan where you will park before heading out. There will be plenty of parking at Raymond James Stadium with a shuttle to the parade. Also, there will be parking in the Ybor City Garage and from there, you can take the streetcar trolley. Other options are to park in downtown Tampa and Channelside garages or parking lots.
- Assign a Designated Driver before consuming alcohol, or plan on taking a taxi home.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat before you start drinking.