NewsCovering Florida


Spring Break is curfewed in Miami Beach, hoping to lessen violence

Miami Beach
Posted at 5:29 AM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 05:29:04-04

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Spring break woes are taking place after Miami Beach, for the third consecutive year, issues a State of Emergency and implements a curfew during the spring break season.  

It was a quiet scene on Monday after spring breakers took over the town this weekend.  

“The scene from what I saw in the daytime versus at night when the curfew took place clearly was night and day,” shared Monique Rojas, who is visiting the city.

The City of Miami Beach imposed a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew for a specific area of the city Sunday night.

The City said its manager is looking to impose the curfew again on Thursday and through next Monday. It affects businesses, hotels, residents, travelers and garages.

It also prohibits alcohol sales after 6 p.m. and cancels all activities the city had scheduled for "Miami Beach Live!" at Lummus Park.  

Those who came in for spring break were made aware of unruly behavior that’s been taking place the last two weeks.  

“She was like, 'Don’t walk this way, make sure you take this way,'” recalled Maurice Townsend, a spring breaker in town who heard from a waitress about the activity.  

“When I saw the people here in the daytime, I didn’t feel as safe because there were so many people,” explained Rojas. “I didn’t stay out too long because I just wanted to be safe.”  

Many, like Michigan resident Edwin Anderson, think the curfew is a good idea.  

“Hopefully, everything becomes much safer to be able to walk around like normal,” he said. 

Those who live in Miami Beach, like eight-year resident Dennis Burton, don’t think it’s a solution.

“They just want to hang out, so they hang out, but if they don’t have an option, now they are on the streets,” Burton said, referring to the spring breakers.  

This curfew comes after two shootings took place this past weekend.

Miami Beach police said the first happened on Friday on Ocean Drive. One man died after being shot, and the other is recovering.  

But the latest shooting happened this Sunday. Video on social media shows police rushing to the scene where two people were shot, and one of them lost their life.  

Suspects in both cases have been arrested, but the city is saying enough is enough.

“To me, it was a no-brainer,” said Vice Mayor of Miami Beach Steven Meiner. “It just wasn’t safe anymore.”  

Meiner said the illegal activity and unruly behavior are from both South Florida residents and out-of-towners, and it’s a problem that continues to happen.  

Last year, restrictions were imposed after five people were injured in shootings.  

“People want to come here, but we’ve created or developed a situation where we cannot control the violence that happens literally in two weekends of the year. And really, that’s what we got to focus on,” said Meiner.  

When Florida 24 Network asked the Vice Mayor why a curfew hasn’t been proactively implemented, he said it’s something the board is discussing.  

“Certainly, a curfew for next weekend is on the table, but looking forward to next year as well,” said Meiner.  “Should we implement the curfew well in advance, knowing that we are going to have a problem? It’s happened multiple years in a row, and we just need to put an end to it.”