MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Beach will soon ban booze from the busiest stretch of sand, and that’s not all they’re doing to try to keep spring break safe.
“We know that a huge number of people are headed our way,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
Spring break season is here, and Miami Beach officials are making sure they’re ready for the large crowds expected.
“We really need to make it clear that misbehavior will not be tolerated,” said Gelber.
Gelber said the city is trying to avoid as much mayhem as possible.
Videos show what played out last year, as hundreds of spring breakers took to the streets, jumping on cars and causing chaos.
Violence and crime also became an issue.
Police made more than 1000 arrests during last year’s spring break season.
“I think if they had to make 1000 arrests last year, something should change,” said Jordan Mick, a tourist from Michigan.
The city has released a new comprehensive plan detailing several measures designed to keep residents and visitors safe.
It mainly focused on the entertainment district.
Here’s just some of what it includes…
Last call for alcohol will be at 2 a.m., from March 7 – 21, for businesses south of 16th Street.
“Nothing good happens after 2 a.m., so I think it’s a good idea,” said Lexi Curtis, a tourist from Michigan.
Tuesday, however, a judge struck down Miami Beach’s alcohol ordinance that had just been imposed Monday night.
The Clevelander Hotel won a case that would have stopped the sale of alcohol at 2 a.m. during spring break. They can now keep serving until 5 a.m.
The City of Miami Beach plans to appeal the ruling.
In a statement, they said the city is being held hostage by a group of bars that are endangering the community and police officers.
A traffic plan will also be implemented to help reduce congestion in the South of 5th and Flamingo Park neighborhoods on the weekends and city staffing has been ramped up.
More police, fire rescue, code compliance and goodwill ambassadors will be seen throughout the month.
“It’s nice to see cops every block,” said a man.
This year, the city also launched a new program called Miami Beach Live.
They’ll have events during the week and concerts on the weekends — an effort to add more structure to the partying and even create a more family-friendly environment.
While everyone we spoke with agreed something needs to change, others hope it doesn’t go too far.
“As long as they don’t take all the fun away, because you only get spring break a couple times in your life, so you don’t want it all to go away,” said tourist from New Jersey Chris Szymankiewicz.
But the mayor said the changes being made are necessary.
“Spring break has really become a difficult time for us, so we’re trying to reprogram it to something a little more tamed and a little less full of disorder,” said Gelber.
For a breakdown of all the rule changes for spring break in Miami Beach, click here.
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