Selling homemade Coquito over Facebook could land you in jail


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Florida — Coquito, meaning “Little Coconut” in Spanish, is a traditional Christmas drink.

The drink, which originated in Puerto Rico, is a coconut-based alcoholic beverage similar to eggnog, sometimes referred to as the “Puerto Rican Eggnog.”

According to officials, the drink is heavily sold over Facebook every holiday season. The drink is made with rum.

In the United States, it is illegal to sell alcohol without a license, no matter how small the amount.

According to the ATF Miami Field Divison, selling alcoholic beverages is a serious offense. Penalties can be one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine, and/or up-to 100 hours of community service.

The ATF says it does receive complaints, namely from business owners who do spend thousands on licensing, but refer the complaints to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

DBPR regulates the manufacturing, distribution, sale, and service of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products in Florida, including receipt and processing of license applications; collection and auditing of taxes, surcharges, and fees paid by licensees; and enforcement of the laws and regulations governing the sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, pursuant to Chapters 210, 561-565, and 567-569, Florida Statutes.

Officials say that individuals selling the drink over Facebook have increased over the past five years and so have arrests.

Those who investigate the complaints say that illegally selling any homemade alcoholic beverage through social media undermines other businesses that pay for licensing and follow the law. Additionally, officials say it poses a health risk as far as possible contamination is concerned.

Facebook says the company will remove any posts that are reported.

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