Miami Beach restricting alcohol sales for spring break
Miami Beach officials have voted to restrict the sale of alcohol in an effort to curb heavy late-night drinking among tourists during spring break.
Miami Beach City Commissioners on Wednesday approved to prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol after 2 a.m. between March 7 and March 21 in the city’s entertainment district, commonly known as South Beach.
The current last call for alcohol sales throughout the city is 5 a.m.
The proposed legislation was approved in a 4-3 vote, the Miami Herald reported.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber (D) said the new ban will free up police resources and ensure public safety during the height of spring break, according to the Miami newspaper.
“For the hardship it may deliver, I’m sorry,” Gelber said. “But from our point of view, going through that two-week period … is a danger to the public. It’s a proven danger to the public.”
Several Miami Beach residents also spoke in favor of the alcohol restriction.
The new legislation comes amid last year’s spring break, which saw large crowds of spring breakers force the city to impose a night curfew and shut down its major causeways due to public disorder and tourists clashing with police.
Several South Beach nightclub owners and employees argue that limiting alcohol would cost them money and create an unfair advantage for clubs, restaurants and hotels in the rest of the city, the Herald reported.
“It’s just picking winners and losers. It’s wrong,” Jimmy Resnick, owner of Exchange Miami on South Beach, said.
City Commissioner David Richardson, who opposed the legislation, said the ban will not make the city safer and force tourists onto the streets at the same time.
“During the pandemic, the bars were closed. But yet we had the worst experiences in Miami Beach,” Richardson said.