Miami Beach’s 2024 Spring Break Measures

March 20, 2024 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements

Each year when the month of March rolls in, Florida prepares for the onslaught of Spring Breakers who flock to its various beaches. We’ve previously covered the impact of drinking, drugs, and the deadly partying that often coincides with Spring Break in the Sunshine State.

As major Spring Break spots like Miami get ready for the upcoming weeks, they have begun to release their rules and regulations for visitors. Specifically in Miami Beach, the City’s Mayor has announced that locals and officials are ready to “break up with Spring Break” due to its increase of violent crimes.

To combat the common criminal offenses that take place during Spring Break each year, Miami Beach recently published their steps to end Spring Break. The newest rules for Miami Beach will include increased police presence, increased fines, sobriety checkpoints, and license plate readers to search for any stolen vehicles.

This page will provide you with Miami Beach’s rules, regulations, and prohibited items to ensure that your Spring Break is both fun and arrest-free. If you do find yourself facing criminal charges after being arrested during Spring Break, consider hiring a defense attorney.

What are the Most Common Offenses Committed in Florida During Spring Break?

Last year, Miami Beach’s Police Department arrested more than 400 people during Spring Break. There were over 7,000 traffic citations issued, and over 100 firearms seized.

The following provides a list of the more common criminal offenses charged during Spring Break in Florida:

  • High school or college students charged with Underage Drinking for being caught in the possession of alcohol or caught under the influence of alcohol as a person under 21;
  • Spring breakers who attempt to drive or operate a motor vehicle, bicycle, scooter, or any other moving transportation system while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI);
  • Individuals on the beach or around Miami Beach who shows signs of excessive partying or disruptive behavior can be charged with Disorderly Conduct;
  • Any person caught in possession (actual or constructive) of marijuana, cocaine, MDMA, psychedelics, or any other illegal substance during Spring Break can face a variety of Drug Charges;
  • Visitors or locals who engage in too much partying that results in threatening or conducting any physical acts of violence can face charges for Assault or Battery; and
  • Individuals who are caught stealing or attempting to take an item or property belonging to another person or entity can be charged with Theft.

Keep in mind that these are just a few examples of the criminal offenses often committed during Spring Break. If you were accused of any illegal act in Miami Beach this March, consider hiring legal representation with Pumphrey Law.

Miami Beach’s “High-Impact Weekend” Safety Measures

On February 13, 2024, the city of Miami Beach released an announcement regarding the upcoming Spring Break weeks. Due to previous years’ Spring Break weeks resulting in high volumes of violent crime—including multiple shootings in both 2022 and 2023—the city has implemented new measures to promote public safety and prevent unlawful acts.

The press release outlined the following “high impact” measures that will be enforced throughout Miami Beach every Thursday through Sunday in the month of March:

  • Flat parking rates of $30 for non-residents, which is increased to $100 during the two highest-impact weekends in March;
  • Increased towing fees for unlawful parking will be raised to $516, which is double the standard rate;
  • The beach entrances on Ocean Drive will be limited to 5, 10, and 12 streets with security checkpoints and bag checks, with all entrances closing at 6pm;
  • The Miami Beach liquor stores in the Entertainment District will be required to close by 8pm; and
  • The following items will be prohibited from taking onto Miami Beach:
    • Coolers;
    • Inflatable devices;
    • Tents;
    • Tables;
    • Glass containers;
    • Styrofoam and plastic straws;
    • Loud music;
    • Alcohol;
    • Narcotics and marijuana;
    • Cigarettes/any smoking.

Miami Beach has already identified that the weekends of March 7-10 and March 14-17 are the busiest times of Spring Break, resulting in the additional “high impact” measures that will be implemented during this specific time period:

  • The closure of all sidewalk cafes on Ocean Drive on March 8-10 and 15-17;
  • The implementation of a License Plate Reader (LPR) detail on specific streets starting at 6pm;
  • Police conducting DUI sobriety checkpoints between the 400 block of 5th Street beginning at 5pm;
  • All businesses who rent or lease golf carts, low-speed vehicles, autocycles, motorized scooters, motorized bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles will be suspended from use on March 7-10 and 14-17; and
  • Placement of barricades along both sides of Ocean Drive to reduce pedestrians from encountering traffic.

To help spread the message of their newest safety measures, Miami Beach published a video claiming that the city is “breaking up with Spring Break.” In their local laws and regulations section, they’ve identified the following conduct is illegal:

  • Consumption of alcohol in public;
  • Smoking tobacco or marijuana on beaches or in parks;
  • Possession or consumption of narcotics;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Driving a scooter or vehicle irresponsibly; and
  • Violence of any kind.

The Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) plan on operating with extended hours during Spring Break. Visitors, business owners, and city locals should all expect to see heightened police presence during the month of March. External law enforcement agencies such as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Florida Highway Patrol, Miami-Dade Police Department, and other municipalities are all expected to aid with enforcing the 2024 Spring Break safety measures.

The following is a statement from Miami Beach Mayor Steven Meiner:

“The measures I proposed approved by our Commission will ensure that our residents, businesses, and visitors are safe and thrive during Spring Break. Everyone is invited to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of our City. But we are a law and order City and we will enforce our laws all year round, including during March’s Spring Break.”

“If you are looking to cause problems, do not come to Miami Beach,” added Chief Wayne Jones. “We are fully prepared to ensure our city is safe for everyone. Our mission is simple: we want people to enjoy their time here, but will not tolerate the behavior we have witnessed in the past few years.”

What to Do if You’re Arrested During Spring Break

As a student just trying to enjoy your Spring Break in Miami, the last thing you would expect to deal with is an arrest for an alleged crime. However, with the strict rules being enforced in Miami Beach, the reality is that law enforcement will be on high alert for any suspicious activity. If you were accused of committing an unlawful act on Miami Beach, you should understand your rights and what to do next.

Dealing with the police is never easy. During the high-impact times of Spring Break partying, it can be especially difficult to remain calm and keep a level head. Consider watching our video on the 10 Rules for Dealing with Police. If you have questions regarding the criminal offense you’ve been charged with or how to defend yourself from a conviction, consider hiring legal counsel through Pumphrey Law Firm.

Our attorneys advise that you do not speak to police until you’ve acquired legal representation. If you call our office today, we can review the surrounding details of your Spring Break arrest and formulate a plan to win back your freedom.

Contact Pumphrey Law Firm

Were you or someone you love arrested in Miami over Spring Break? Depending on the alleged crime you’ve been accused of, there can be serious implications if the case results in a criminal conviction. If you are an FSU or FAMU student facing charges for an unlawful incident that took place in South Beach, consider hiring a defense counsel who can accurately protect your rights and form a defense plan.

The defense attorneys with Pumphrey Law have decades of combined experience representing those in need. We can provide you with a free case evaluation to go over the facts of the incident. From there, we can help you establish any potential defenses that can help fight off getting convicted at trial. Our firm represents those in Leon County and the surrounding areas of the Florida Panhandle. If your Spring Break trip ended with an arrest, you need a defense team who will aggressively fight for you. Contact Pumphrey Law Firm today at (850) 681-7777 so we can get started on your case.

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