What is the purpose of the division?
What are the responsibilities of the division?
The division receives and processes license applications, collects and audits taxes, surcharges, and fees paid by licensees, and enforces laws and regulations governing the sale of these products.
How does the division accomplish its purpose?
The division is organized into three bureaus.
- Bureau of Licensing issues all licenses, permits, registrations, and approvals related to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
- Bureau of Law Enforcement fulfills the investigative and enforcement functions of the division, including investigation of license applicants and premises and undercover surveys for determining license compliance with minimum age of purchase laws. The bureau also investigates alleged criminal and administrative violations of Florida law when the violations correspond with activity occurring at the premises licensed by the division or without a license as required by law.
- Bureau of Auditing collects and audits excise taxes levied upon on alcohol and tobacco products. They also collect and the surcharge on cigarettes and other tobacco products sold in Florida and conduct compliance audits.
What taxes are collected by the division?
The division is responsible for administering several taxes owed by businesses involved in the alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries.
The division generates approximately $2.5 billion in alcoholic beverage and tobacco related taxes, surcharges, and fees. The division transfers most funds to the General Revenue Fund, but retains funds for division operations and distribution to other programs as required by statute.
- Alcoholic Beverage Excise Tax is levied on each gallon or fraction thereof of beverage sold during the previous month. The tax is based on alcohol by volume.
- Cigarette Excise and Surcharge Taxes are levied on a per pack basis with a tax and surcharge stamp placed on cigarette packages as evidence that the taxes were paid.
- Other Tobacco Products Excise Tax and Surcharge is levied as a percentage of the wholesale price for any tobacco products other than cigarettes and cigars.
Does the division effectively enforce underage alcoholic beverage and tobacco laws?
According to Fiscal Year 2020-21 performance data, of the 87% of retail alcohol and tobacco licensees and permit holders who were inspected, 84% of the alcoholic beverage retailers and 89% of the tobacco retailers were found to comply with restrictions on access by underage persons. These metrics exceeded the legislative standard for the percent of retail alcohol and tobacco licensees and permit holders to be inspected (40%), as well as the standard for retailers found to be in compliance with regulations preventing underage person's access to alcohol (80%) and tobacco (85%) products.
How are these activities funded?
Regulation of Tobacco and Nicotine Product Use. As noted above, the division regulates a number of aspects of the tobacco and nicotine industries; however, its authority does not extend to the use of these products. The 2022 Legislature enacted Ch. 2022-213, Laws of Florida, which, among other provisions, expressly authorizes counties and municipalities to restrict smoking within the boundaries of any of the public beaches and public parks they own, except with regard to the smoking of unfiltered cigars.
Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?
A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website
Where can I get more information?
What are the applicable statutes?
Chapters 210, 386 Part II, 561, 562, 563, 564, 565, 567, 568, and 569, and ss. 322.212, 559.791, 768.125, and 877.18, Florida Statutes.
Whom do I contact for help?
Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, 850-487-1395