Florida spring break has family beach towns bracing for crowds as Miami Beach cracks down
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Miami Beach’s “divorce” from spring break after a crime-crazed 2023 season will likely push party seekers about 30 miles up the coast to areas like Fort Lauderdale, which has the largest beach in Broward County.

And officials seem to publicly welcome the annual bash as they prep for the sudden influx. 

Broward County has already beefed up security by enforcing higher parking fees, setting up license plate readers and security cameras, and coordinating local and county law enforcement to establish a highly visible presence. 

Within the county, Fort Lauderdale is expected to be this year’s hot spot, and the city’s mayor, Dean Trantalis, said he “welcomes all visitors all year round,” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t contingency plans in case fun in the sun spirals into rowdy chaos and crime. 

Trantalis told the Sun-Sentinel that Fort Lauderdale won’t take as drastic action because they haven’t had the same issues as Miami Beach, but they expect visitors to behave. 

“We are all aware of the fact that Miami Beach is clamping down hard on spring break,” Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman said, according to the Sun-Sentinel’s report.

“I just want to make sure that we are prepared for any kind of influx of folks that might say, ‘Hey, it’s going to be a lot easier just to go to Fort Lauderdale.’ Because the things that Miami Beach is doing are pretty much going to say, ‘Hey, we really don’t want you here.’ They really are saying, ‘Please don’t come here.’”

Florida spring break

Groups of spring breakers huddle together on the beach in South Padre.

Spring breakers spend time on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Spring breakers enjoy the sand and sun at Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida on Saturday, March 18, 2023. (Julia Bonavita/Fox News Digital)

What changes did Miami Beach implement?

In addition to curfews, the Miami Beach City Commission made other changes – laid out on a city webpage titled “Miami Beach is breaking up with spring break” – which will last through March:

  • A flat $30 parking rate at city garages and lots in South Beach ($100 from March 7-10 and March 14-17) except for residents and employees
  • Restricted entry to those garages and lots after 6 p.m.
  • A double towing rate of $516 for nonresidents
  • Security checkpoints and bag checks to enter the beach
  • Beach entry via Ocean Drive limited to Fifth, 10th and 12th streets
  • Closure of those beach entrances at 6 p.m.
Spring breakers spend time on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Spring breakers enjoy the sand and sun at Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida on Saturday, March 18, 2023. (Julia Bonavita/Fox News Digital)

Spring breakers spend time on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Spring breakers enjoy the sand and sun at Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida on Saturday, March 18, 2023. (Julia Bonavita/Fox News Digital)

Additional measures will take effect during the March 7-10 and March 14-17 weekends, including:

  • License plate readers on the eastbound lanes of the Julia Tuttle and MacArthur causeways from March 8-10 and March 15-17 starting at 6 p.m., expected to cause significant traffic delays
  • A DUI sobriety checkpoint on Fifth Street on March 8-9 and March 15-16
  • A ban on rentals of Slingshots, golf carts, electric scooters and other motorized vehicles from March 7-10 and March 14-17

There’s also discussion about temporarily repealing an option for civil citations for low-level marijuana possession, the Miami Herald reported. 

Jones said people can expect license plate readers, DUI checkpoints and more police in South Beach “than you’ve ever seen before.”

“It will be difficult to get here to our city, and once you get here, the expectation will be that you play by the rules,” he said, according to the Miami Herald. 

“If you are looking to cause problems, do not come to Miami Beach …. Our message is simple: we want people to enjoy their time here, but will not tolerate the behavior we have witnessed in the past few years.”

Fox News Digital’s Julia Bonavita contributed to this report.

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