MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Late-night drinking may be ending earlier than usual on a section of Miami Beach as part of the city’s initiative to crack down on crime after an uptick in violence started, even before spring break.
In the end, the voters will decide just how late last call will be.
The new initiative is a pilot program that will be added to voters’ ballots in November.
Alcohol sales usually ended at 5 a.m. in the entertainment district. Now, the time has been changed to 2 a.m. starting Saturday.
The Miami Beach Commission recently approved the new rollback of alcohol sales in a close vote — 4 to 3.
The new rules apply to businesses between Fifth and 15th streets and will remain in effect until December.
The new selling time comes in the middle of the 20th staging of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Many businesses are not pleased with the new times set for them.
South Beach residents and visitors seem to have mixed reactions.
“When we first moved here, there was pretty much a nightclub on every other block along Washington, Collins, all the way down Fifth, and there weren’t these problems,” said resident Jim Cinto. “I’d like to see them ramp up security a bit more. In years past you used to see police on bikes throughout the city, even in the residential neighborhoods, and enforce the laws, enforce the rules more actively.”
“Well, you just hope that it keeps down trouble, and I think at 5 o’clock, if you’re drinking for hours and hours, there’s more chance of getting into trouble,” said visitor Tony Catalano.
The Clevelander, one of South Beach’s best-known hotels, went as far as suing the City of Miami Beach on Monday over, what its attorneys call, a series of regulatory attacks that will soon force the popular entertainment venue, along with others, to turn down their music and end alcohol sales earlier.
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