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Miami Beach used to be one of the ultimate Spring Break destinations. It has bars and restaurants lining Ocean Avenue in South Beach, lots of shopping on Lincoln Road, and miles of sand and surf for sunbathing, swimming, relaxing, and partying. The raucous part of Spring Break got excessive over the past few years and the crowds became more of a problem. Cheap airfare during Covid drove throngs of people who went to party, but also created an atmosphere that felt unsafe, unwelcoming, and problematic for both locals and vacationers. Well, no more. Miami Beach is breaking up with Spring Break.
Tourists planning to head to Miami can expect curfews, security searches and bag checks, early beach entrance closures, DUI checkpoints, road closures, and arrests for drug possession and violence. The city is making it clear that it will be seen as safe and welcoming to folks who want to go respectfully enjoy themselves, but will not tolerate the nonsense of the past few years.
Penalties for breaking any laws will be severe and costs are being increased to motivate behavior. Some of the adjustments made for Spring Break include:
- The flat parking rate is expected to increase to $100 on the two higher-impact weekends.
- The nonresident towing rate will be $516.
- Beach entrances on Ocean Drive will be limited to 5th, 10th, and 12th streets and will have security checkpoints.
- Alcohol and cigarette smoking are prohibited on the beaches.
- Packaged liquor stores in the Entertainment District are always required to close at 8:00 PM.
- The Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) will implement a traffic plan beginning at 6:00 PM each Friday through Sunday to reduce traffic impacts around the South of Fifth (SOFI), West Avenue and Flamingo Park neighborhoods.
- A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) sobriety checkpoint will be in place along the 400 block of 5th Street starting at 5:00 PM over March 8th to 9th and March 15th to 16th.
This is a lot and will hopefully deter some people from going to Miami Beach. I have been there countless times through the years, but something changed around 2021. The crowds got rougher. People were openly drinking and smoking pot in the streets. The air felt as if a fight could break out at any moment and police lined the streets in full riot gear. This was not the vacation vibe that most people were hoping for while in South Beach.
Anthony’s Take: I’m happy to see the city cracking down on what had made Miami Beach start to feel inhospitable. Everyone can have fun, but be respectful of the locals, other tourists, and the place where you’re headed. Hopefully, this will be enough to curb the behavior that has plagued the area the past few years.
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