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Miami Beach Commission Approves Early End To Alcohol Sales During Spring Break

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Miami Beach commissioners have approved a measure to limit alcohol sales during Spring Break.

According to CBS4 News partner the Miami Herald, commissioners voted 5 to 2 Wednesday night to stop the sale of alcohol in the South Beach entertainment district at 3:00 a.m., however, the earlier 'last call' is only for six days starting on March 13.

The move aims to curb issues when thousands of college Spring Breakers are expected to flock to the city.

The following areas are affected: Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue from Fifth to 16th streets, and the remaining area between Pennsylvania Avenue and Collins Court from Fifth to 16th streets, including Española Way.

The new hours only affect the sale of alcohol at places with on-site consumption, like at bars and restaurants.

There is already an 8:00 p.m. last call for beer and wine at supermarkets or convenience stores near the district.

The paper states, the commission also finalized a plan to fund $500,000 in daytime activities during weekends in March to manage crowds that gather on the beach. The free events will take place off Ocean Drive, from seventh to 10th Streets. They start March 6 and take place every weekend in March. There will be music, basketball and volleyball court, fitness classes and beach cleanups.

City Manager Jimmy Morales was also given emergency powers for the entire month of March, which means he can order increased security measures without consulting the commission. Some of those security measures include suspending sidewalk cafe permits, implementing license-plate readers. Prohibiting coolers and tents on the beach, and suspending licenses for promoters of events at certain clubs and bars due to noise.

The commission previously passed an ordinance to require Ocean Drive bars between Fifth and 15th streets to hire an off-duty Miami Beach police officer from midnight until 30 minutes past closing time.  Department officials say officers are already planning to work overtime despite the new law and officers will be working 13-hour shifts for much of March to control the Spring Break crowd.


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