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Miami Beach declares midnight curfew for this Spring Break weekend to curb "dangerous mayhem"

Miami Beach declares midnight curfew for this Spring Break weekend to curb "dangerous mayhem"
Miami Beach declares midnight curfew for this Spring Break weekend to curb "dangerous mayhem" 02:44

MIAMI BEACH — Listen up, spring breakers: Miami Beach has declared a midnight curfew.

Starting Friday at 11:59 p.m., the City of Miami Beach has imposed a weekend curfew that will go through the weekend until 6 a.m. Monday.

Miami Beach Mayor Steven Meiner told CBS News Miami's Peter D'Oench "Our first priority is public safety and law and order and our residents are demanding it and we are delivering it."

City of Miami Beach

Springbreakers and tourists have mixed reactions.

Springbreaker Taylor Williams said, "I think it's smart, so nothing like last year will happen." 

Another spring breaker Tiara Oneal said "I think it is terrible. Young kids want to have fun." 

David Wallack, the owner of Mango's Tropical Cafe, said "There are going to be people here by the thousands and they are going to be jamming the west side of the sidewalk and making business unmanageable. There are still a lot of people coming I to town and it is much busier than last night. I say y try gat even though we are down 45 to 50 percent in that range and that is a disaster."

The following emergency measures will be imposed:

  • Effective each night from March 15 through March 18, from 11:59 p.m. until 6 a.m., a curfew will be imposed for that area of the city bounded by 23 Street and Dade Boulevard on the north (including properties fronting the north side of 23 Street or Dade Boulevard), Government Cut on the south, Biscayne Bay on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east.
  • Businesses within the affected area must close sufficiently in advance of the curfew so patrons can avoid violating the emergency measures.
  • Public safety officers will patrol the curfew area to ensure compliance by businesses, visitors and citizens. People will be asked to immediately vacate the streets and return to their homes, hotels or other accommodations.
  • Businesses may continue to operate from 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m. for delivery services only, and all city residents requiring access to or from their homes, guests requiring access to or from their hotels, and employees of business establishments requiring access, including business deliveries, are permitted.
  • The curfew does not apply to designated essential services, such as fire, police and hospital services, including the transportation of patients, utility emergency repairs and emergency calls by physicians.
  • The curfew also does not apply to people traveling to work or returning to their homes after their work has concluded.
  • The sale or distribution of any alcoholic beverage(s) for off-premises consumption - with or without payment - will be prohibited in the curfew area after 6 p.m. each day.
Miami Beach declares midnight curfew for this Spring Break weekend 02:54

Additionally, a Special Event Zone has been designated starting 8 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Monday for the following areas:

  • 17 St. on the North
  • Washington Ave. on the West
  • South Pointe Park on the South
  • The Erosion Control Line on the East
  • The entirety of 5 Street from MacArthur Causeway on the West to the Erosion Control Line on the East

According to Miami Beach, the zone also includes Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue and all side streets within the designated area. Within this zone, the city also holds the authority to double fines for noncriminal traffic infractions and impound vehicles for violations.

"In consultation with our public safety leadership, we have determined that a midnight curfew is necessary and appropriate to assist in maintaining public safety on this Spring Break weekend," said Miami Beach City Manager Alina Hudak.

Hudak continued that city leaders did not come to the decision lightly but "it should not come out as a surprise."

"We have been very clear about our intent to protect the public from the dangerous mayhem that has accompanied Spring Break crowds in recent years," she added.

According to Miami Beach city code, the city manager has the authority to impose "discretionary emergency measures" up to 72 hours unless an extension is granted by the city commission.

Miami Beach passed a resolution last year to endorse the city's intent to declare a curfew to protect public safety during this year's spring break. City leaders have also publicly warned local businesses to "expect curfews" during spring break, particularly this weekend, when South Beach has historically experienced the highest level of disturbance and violence, according to a press release from the City of Miami Beach.

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