Curfews, checkpoints, mounted patrols: Miami, Florida cities brace for spring break 2024

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Curfews, checkpoints, mounted patrols: Miami, Florida cities brace for spring break 2024:-After a shooting in the streets in 2023 that killed one, Miami Beach is “breaking up” with spring break. Fort Lauderdale is “welcoming” spring breakers, but there are rules in place. The city hasn’t had rave crowds in decades.

Curfews, checkpoints, mounted patrols: Miami, Florida cities brace for spring break 2024

The “cold” weather in Florida is getting warmer just as schools are letting out for the summer. Soon, spring breakers will be flooding the Sunshine State.

A lot of people go to the beaches during the summer, which is why there are regular rules in place to keep the crowds under control. Many of these rules went into effect Friday.

Fort Lauderdale, on the other hand, wants “organised fun,” while Miami Beach wants to “break up” with spring break. Two people were killed in back-to-back shootings last year, which led to chaos in the streets and a state of emergency.

People all over the state are getting ready for what’s to come, whether March tourists are a welcome sight or a sight that emergency workers fear.

Miami Beach ‘breaking up’ with spring break after 2023 shooting

In 2021, more than 1,000 spring breakers were arrested in Miami Beach, which led to an emergency ban. Five people were hurt in two killings in 2022, which led to another curfew. According to the Miami Beach Police Department, from February 27 to March 27 of last year, they made 488 arrests, took 105 guns into custody, and gave out 7,190 traffic tickets.

They said enough was enough this year.

Every Thursday through Sunday in March, the city is adding more security, making it harder to get to the beach and close liquor stores early.

From March 7–10 and March 14–17, the city will not allow people to park in any South Beach garages.

“We’re breaking up with spring break,” the website for Miami Beach says. “Expect curfews, security searches and bag checks at beach access points, early beach entrance closures, DUI checkpoints, bumper-to-bumper traffic, road closures and arrests for drug possession and violence.”

Curfews, checkpoints, mounted patrols: Miami, Florida cities brace for spring break 2024

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Fort Lauderdale mayor says city is ’embracing’ spring breakers

Instead of being against spring break, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told USA TODAY that the city is “embracing” it and inviting tourists to enjoy the restaurants, nightlife, and beaches.

But the city and the holiday haven’t always gotten along so well. Trantalis said that hundreds of thousands of spring breakers came to the city in the 1970s and 1980s, making it too crowded.

“We had no rules in place and and it really wreaked havoc on our community to the point where it was driving away other visitors and certainly gave investors pause,” said the man.

He said that because of the chaos, Fort Lauderdale did the same thing in the early 1980s that Miami Beach is doing now. Over time, the crowds stopped coming in such large numbers. The mayor said that rules like closing the beach at 5:30 p.m. and having horse patrols on the beach help to keep things in check these days.

“We understand that spring break often brings young people who who are looking to have a good time,” Trantalis stated. “As long as you know, they maintain a conduct that you know doesn’t destroy property…we feel that spring break is is a welcome opportunity for Fort Lauderdale to host.”

Florida police: ‘We don’t want to arrest young people’

For decades, Daytona Beach has been known as a place where spring breakers go to party. But now, tourism groups say, the crowds are mostly families. Some of those young people may have gone south to New Smyrna Beach, where cops have had curfews for teens and young adults for the past couple of years.

The Key West Police Department is increasing their patrol and mounted unit to make sure people follow the law that says you can’t drink alcohol on the beach. However, a spokeswoman for the department, Alyson Crean, said that they don’t make any new rules for spring break.

“Key West does see its share of spring breakers, but nothing like other Florida areas” said Crean.

Sheriff Eric Aden of Okaloosa County told people on spring break that the law would be followed in the Panhandle.

“We don’t want to arrest young people,” Aden told the USA TODAY Network’s Northwest Florida Daily News. “We want them to come here and celebrate responsibly, but we also want to make sure they know that there is a zero-tolerance policy, and that goes for the whole Emerald Coast, from Panama City to Orange Beach and everywhere in between.”

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