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New Rules Involving Alcohol Sales, Loud Music To Greet Miami Beach Spring Breakers

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - New rules for spring breakers heading to Miami Beach go into effect over the next several days.

The city is pushing for alcohol sales to end at 2 a.m. for most of the month of March, but they're seeing major pushback from businesses along Ocean Drive.

"We stay out until we pass out," said Tom Cruz and Cameron Good, two spring breakers from Michigan.

Spoken like true spring breakers.

"Good first night, looking to have an even better second night," said Good.

"Always spring break is very hectic here in Miami," said local, Andrew Argen.

Starting Thursday, there's no alcohol, coolers, tents or tables allowed on public beaches. The city will also be enforcing no live or amplified music, as well, as limited vehicular traffic.

"They're coming to party, drink, and get cut up. If I were a local I'd stay home," said Sharney Battle, who's visiting from Philadelphia.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said he's worried about outrageous behavior from spring breakers.

"I am worried about the large crowds coming. I think there's been a lot of folks who still want to let loose after the pandemic and what's been happening over the last two years," says Gelber.

He's pushing to close bars at 2 a.m., but a local judge said that's one rule he won't be able to enforce.

"I'm feeling the court has vindicated the claim of all of us in nightlife in that all zoning matters require five votes," said CEO of Mango's Tropical Cafe, David Wallack.

Wallack said rolling back the sale of alcohol has a major impact on nightlife employees.

"It means a lot to lose an entire shift to a family which is a very good shift for them to be able to pay their rent, their electric bill and food for their children," he explained.

Gelber says the month of March is a dangerous time for police officers, with dozens of them injured over the last several spring breaks.

"Our cops have to really police sometimes massive crowds 24 hours a day," he says.

People we talked to have mixed opinions about closing bars early but they agree on one thing: "They're going to come here anyway and get drunk regardless," says Battle.

Patrols on the beach are ramping up.

Throughout the month of March, there will be extra police officers, code enforcement officers and park rangers on Miami Beach.

The City of Miami Beach is still working to create an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of alcohol past 2 a.m. at all times of the year.

They're in the midst of debating and implementing that ordinance.

Mayor Gelber tells CBS News Miami it should be done by April.

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