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Curfew, Curtailed Liquor Sales Begins On Miami Beach During Busy Spring Break Weekend

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In an effort to put the brakes on the rowdy late night, sometimes violent, behavior of the spring break crowds on Miami Beach, a curfew has gone into effect in the city's entertainment district.

The nightly curfew started at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. It will end at 6 in the morning before repeating each night through Monday. It's in effect for 23rd Street to Southpoint Drive from the ocean to the bay.

The curfew also requires liquor stores and other locations that sell prepackaged alcohol to stop sales at 6 p.m. on those days.

Wilson Arevalo with Gulf Liquor said traditionally during spring break thousands flock to South Beach and many of them stop into his store to buy alcohol, but because of the curfew, they will be shutting their doors early.

"We close actually at midnight but since Miami Beach is in a state of emergency right now they're making us close a little earlier at 6 o'clock," he said.

While Arevalo said they support the move he add it will cost them thousands

"I want what's best for the city, it's definitely bad for business owners," he said.

City officials hope the curfew will help prevent additional violence, especially after the previous weekend which was marred by chaos and two shootings that injured five people.

"It is not safe. It is not a safe situation, we need to protect people, we need to keep people safe, that is our obligation. We know that if we continue to do the same things there are going to be additional acts of violence and we cannot allow that to happen," said city commissioner Steve Meiner.

Some people who frequent the area say the curfew is an overreach and suggest other changes could have been made.

"I believe if they put better entertainment or they make sure they put some real entertainment that people would like, they wouldn't have any problem with that," said Monester Lee Kinsler.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the city has tried providing entertainment in the past.

"We've done programming, we've done programming on different weekends, and at the end of the day if someone comes here with an automatic weapon, what program am I going to give that person to stop them from doing something bad," he said.

This year's Spring Break crowds have exceeded last year's numbers. Miami Beach police said they have confiscated more than 100 guns compared to about 70 in 2021 and they have also been more arrests.

Since the start of the Spring Break season, 618 people have been arrested, more than 50 percent were from South Florida.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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