Miami Beach Is So Over Spring Break

Officials are upping security measures, but it's not clear whether it will work
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2024 8:34 AM CST
Miami Beach Is So Over Spring Break
A group plays beach volleyball along Ocean Drive Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Miami Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Miami Beach is trying to break up with spring break, but it's not yet clear whether spring break will take the hint. After three consecutive years of spring break violence, Miami Beach officials are implementing monthlong security measures aimed at curbing the chaos, including parking restrictions for non-residents and closing sidewalk cafes on busy weekends. The city has warned visitors to expect curfews, bag searches at the beach, early beach closures, DUI checkpoints, and arrests for drug possession and violence, the AP reports. But business owners in the city's world-famous South Beach neighborhood are now concerned that they'll lose money during one of the busiest times of the year, and civil rights advocates say the restrictions are an overreaction to large Black crowds.

Many of the city's restrictions aren't new, but in past years, they were instituted as emergency measures during the unofficial holiday—not measures put in place ahead of time. "The status quo and what we've seen in the last few years is just not acceptable, not tolerable," Miami Beach Mayor Steven Meiner said. Meiner said crowds have become unmanageable despite a robust police presence. He said the city, which is situated on a barrier island across the bay from Miami, can only hold so many people, and that capacity has often exceeded what's safe for both visitors and residents during the break. (See more at the AP, including controversy swirling around the decision.)

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