Spring Break in Florida – Drinks, Drugs, and Deadly Partying on the Rise

March 22, 2022 Criminal Defense, Drug Charges, Drunk Driving/DUI

As winter starts to melt away, flowers start to bloom, the air gets warmer, and everyone can feel that spring is in the air, crime also tends to crop up! Although sunny Florida has great weather year-round, there’s one specific thing we all love about spring: Spring Break! During the month of March, high schools and universities let out their students for over a week to enjoy an annual break before finals season ramps up. Tanning on the beach and going out with friends are common activities.

People from all over the United States start to flock to Florida to fully embrace their Spring Break. In fact, Spring Break is one of the busiest periods for travel out of the whole year. Approximately 1.5 million students engage in travel during Spring break, with the age range of travelers generally falling between 17-35 years old. Florida cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona, and Panama City Beach will all see an influx in young guests due to the annual holiday break.

After spending weeks cramming for midterms, students are more than ready to be released out into the world for a week of relaxation and partying. For some reason, the U.S. has collectively decided that the Spring Break vacation is a rite of passage, but for what? When you combine young people, the beach, and a week off to party, the end result can turn out deadlier and more dangerous than intended. Overindulging in alcohol, taking illegal drugs, and engaging in wild sexual behavior are all common activities you’ll see during Spring Break.

As March rolls into another Spring Break season in our home state of Florida, it is important to go over the facts of the most common arrests made during Spring Break, scary drinking statistics, and how to avoid jail time this holiday season be aware of the scary reality of the Spring Break.

Finding a Spring Break Defense Attorney

If you or one of your buddies have found yourself in trouble during your Spring Break trip, or if you are a parent who has a child who got themselves into trouble over the holiday, the first thing you need to do is seek out the help of an experienced defense attorney. Being a student on Spring Break is supposed to be a fun and exciting time in a young person’s life. However, one drunken mistake can lead to extremely serious consequences. Getting the proper legal advice can make the difference between getting hit with long-lasting penalties or walking away free. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience in helping minors and young college students defense against all types of charges. If you feel scared or lost regarding your charge, contact Pumphrey Law Firm at (850) 681-7777 or send an online message today and receive a free consultation regarding your case.

Most Common Arrests Made During Spring Break

With the relaxed mindset and increased partying that takes place during Spring Break, there are multiple arrests that can take place during the holiday break. The following is a list of common arrests that happen during Spring Break:

  • DUISpring Break and drinking go hand in hand, and unfortunately, many young people attempt to get behind the wheel even after they’ve drank alcohol. If you are caught by the police with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher, you will receive a DUI and an automatic suspension of your license. For more information on DUI charges, visit our page here.
  • Drug ChargesOn top of excessive drinking, it is common for police to find traces of illegal substances on Spring Breakers. Drugs including but not limited to marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA, and other illegal substances are potential reasons for arrests during Spring Break. For information on drug charges and their penalties, you can read more here.
  • BUIBoating Under the Influence (BUI) is extremely common during Spring Break. Under Florida Statute section 327.35, it is illegal to drive a boat or vessel on the water under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher while operating a boating vehicle, you can get arrested. A first offense is a misdemeanor, however, if you have three offenses within a 10-year period it can be charged as a felony. For more information on BUI charges, visit our page here.
  • Underage DrinkingFlorida has a zero-tolerance law for anyone under the age of 21 caught drinking alcohol. Getting caught as a minor with alcohol in your system can result in an arrest and penalties that will affect both you and your parents. It becomes even more serious if you are caught with a fake ID or lie to the police about your identity. If you are over the age of 21 but are caught giving alcohol to a minor, you could also be arrested. To read more about these charges, visit our blog post here.
  • AssaultHeavy drinking in an overpopulated area can lead to bar fights, road rage, or other forms of violence. Assault and battery are two charges that people may face when Spring Break turns violent. If you are charged with aggravated assault on Spring Break, you could face a felony in the third degree. To read more about these charges, visit our blog post here.

To read about more Spring Break crimes to watch out for this year, visit our blog post here.

Scary Statistics

The U.S. National Institution of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) found that each academic year approximately 1,825 university students between 18- and 24-year-old die from accidental alcohol-related injuries.

During the Spring Break holidays, 44% of girls and 75% of boys in college get drunk on a daily basis. Half of the college students take part in binge drinking or drinking to the point of passing out at least one time during their Spring Break vacation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking occurs when a girl drinks four or more alcoholic beverages in one single sitting, and boys drink five or more alcoholic beverages in one sitting. A study by the American College of Health has data showing that girls on Spring Break averaged 10 alcoholic drinks per day, and boys consumed an average of 18 alcoholic drinks per day.

Excessive drinking can cause serious lasting damage to young people. Memory, coordination, and movement are all affected by excessive drinking. If young people continuously consume high volumes of alcohol, it can affect their breathing, heart rate, and the body’s ability to regulate temperature, which can even lead to their body shutting down.

Excessive drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, a very serious issue that many young people may face with constant binge drinking. The following is a list of alcohol poisoning symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Passing out (unconsciousness)
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Slowed breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  • Irregular breathing (if there is a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  • Pale or blue-tinged skin
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)

Miami Taking a Stand Against Spring Break Drinking

Miami is attempting to restrict the sale of alcohol as Spring Breakers start to head down south for the holidays. During a special city commission, the city decided to restrict alcohol sales after 2 AM in the heavily populated areas during the busiest weeks of the season.

In March of 2021, there was a curfew enacted in a state of emergency due to the police having a difficult time controlling the crowded streets during the pandemic. Although some agree with the temporary alcohol ban, others see it as unfair to their businesses and theorize that it won’t make any difference to the amount of drinking that will take place.

One Miami bar owner, David Martinez commented on the restrictions: “I do not believe that closing at two o’clock is going to remedy anything. On the contrary, I think it’s going to allow everybody to empty out into the streets at the same time and cause probably more violence.”

The temporary ordinance was approved in a 4-3 vote and will take place between March 7th and March 22nd, affecting all businesses south of 16th street that allow for on-site drinking.

How to Avoid Jailtime this Spring Break

No one intends to go on a Spring Break vacation and get arrested, however it happens year after year to students and travelers from all over. If you find yourself in trouble with the law this Spring Break for any reason, follow these steps to try and avoid time behind bars:

  • Know your rights. Knowing your rights when interacting with police will help you understand when compliance is in your best interest versus situations in which the best course of action would be affirming and standing up for your rights. To learn more about your rights when interacting with police, read our blog post here. This can be especially important when enforcing your right to remain silent and your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • Comply with the authorities. The police are mainly there to keep all the Spring Breakers safe, so it is best to be respectful and answer their requests to the best of your ability.
  • Do not run from the police. You may be scared about the consequences of getting in trouble with the law but fleeing will only make the situation worse. If you evade the police, you could get arrested, even if you are innocent. To learn more about fleeing to elude, read our blog post here.
  • Do not lie about your identity. Underage drinking is a common theme for Spring Breakers but lying to a police officer about your age or giving them a fake ID can result in your arrest. If you want to know the consequences that can come with using a Fake ID, read more here.

What to do if You Get Arrested on Spring Break

If you or a loved one is arrested during a Spring Break trip in Florida, the first thing you should do is reach out to an experienced attorney in your area. Receiving quality legal advice from a skilled defense attorney for alcohol, drug, or sexual assault charges is a must to navigate the legal aspects of your case. Don Pumphrey and his legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients from all over the state of Florida for all types of charges. Call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message today and receive a free consultation regarding your case. You should be able to have a safe and fun time on Spring Break, but in the event that something goes wrong, make sure you have the best legal representation.

Written by Karissa Key

Back to Top