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Miami Beach Commission Considers Final Vote On Early End To Alcohol Sales During Spring Break

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Miami Beach commissioners are expected to vote Wednesday night on limiting alcohol sales during Spring Break.

The ordinance, if finalized, would set the "last call for alcohol" in the South Beach entertainment district to 3:00 a.m., two hours earlier than normal, for 12 days in March during the height of the college Spring Break crowds.

The following areas would be affected by the proposed rollback: 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 would 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.

Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements said at a previous meeting that limiting alcohol sales at certain hours would "absolutely" help his troops during Spring Break.

Many business owners don't approve of the ordinance because booze is currently sold until 5 a.m. They also say college students aren't the ones drinking in the clubs because college kids don't spend money. They are usually drinking beer on the beach or in the streets. Some business owners complain that much of their revenue comes during the hours just before closing.

Also on the agenda, a resolution to prohibit coolers and tents on the beach, implementation of license plate readers, suspension of sidewalk café operations in the restricted area at midnight, suspension of licenses for promoters of events at alcoholic beverage establishments and suspension of the noise exemption from 9th to 11th Streets on Ocean Drive.

Two weeks ago, the commission unanimously 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.


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