Miami Beach, Florida – The City of Miami Beach is taking decisive action in response to the chaos and violence that have marred the spring break celebrations in recent years. The city has announced a series of strict new measures aimed at curbing unruly behavior and ensuring public safety. Mayor Steven Meiner of Miami Beach and law enforcement officials have emphasized the city’s commitment to maintaining order, and these initiatives reflect that commitment.
Mayor Steven Meiner underscored the city’s stance, stating, “The measures I proposed approved by our Commission will ensure that our residents, businesses, and visitors are safe and thrive during Spring Break.” He highlighted the city’s open invitation to all who wish to enjoy its beauty and hospitality, with a clear message that law enforcement will be rigorous, especially during the peak of spring break in March.
Among the initiatives being rolled out are bag checks, DUI checkpoints, and the use of license plate readers. Restricted beach access and an increase in police presence aim to specifically address public drinking, drug possession, and violent acts. These measures represent a comprehensive approach to maintaining order during a period that has historically seen significant disruptions.
Chief Wayne Jones issued a stern warning to potential troublemakers: “If you are looking to cause problems, do not come to Miami Beach.” His statement reflects the city’s preparedness to handle any issues and its unwavering commitment to public safety. The message is clear: visitors are welcome to enjoy Miami Beach, but not at the expense of peace and order.
To further detail these plans, a press conference is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 15, at 3:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Police Headquarters. Senior city administration members, along with the Miami Beach Commission, will unveil more about the strategy to rein in spring break excesses.
March has been designated a high-impact period, with extra precautions planned for traffic management, staffing, and public safety. The city anticipates the largest crowds during the weeks of March 7-10 and March 14-17, prompting even more stringent controls during these times.
Throughout March, from Thursday to Sunday, Miami Beach will enforce the following policies:
- Parking in the city’s Entertainment District will cost a uniform rate of $30 at specific garages and lots, including those located at 7th Street and Collins Avenue (G1), 12th Street and Washington Avenue (G2), 13th Street and Collins Avenue (G3), and 16th Street between Collins and Washington avenues (G4). This standard parking fee and the rule restricting entry after 6 p.m. won’t apply to local residents, those with access cards, or official employees. During the two busiest weekends in March, parking fees will increase to $100, subject to approval on a second reading scheduled for February 21.
- Vehicles not belonging to residents that are towed in South Beach will incur a fee of $516, which is twice the usual amount. Access to the beach from Ocean Drive will be limited to entrances at 5th, 10th, and 12th streets, where security will conduct bag checks to prevent prohibited items from entering. These entry points will shut at 6 p.m. Beach rules prohibit coolers, inflatables, tents, tables, and loud music without a permit from the city. It’s also worth remembering that drinking alcohol and smoking on the beaches are forbidden.
- Liquor stores within the Entertainment District must close by 8 p.m. without exception. To alleviate traffic congestion, especially in the South of Fifth (SOFI), West Avenue, and Flamingo Park areas, the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) will activate a traffic control plan from 6 p.m. on weekends. Specific roads will have access restrictions to improve movement for locals and visitors.
On March 7-10 and March 14-17, the following additional high-impact measures will be implemented
- Parking charges in the Entertainment District will rise to $100 as part of an ordinance amendment approved in January. Restrictions on entering city parking facilities will be in effect from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., exempting residents, access card holders, and authorized personnel.
- Sidewalk cafes along Ocean Drive will not operate on March 8-10 and March 15-17. The MBPD will use License Plate Readers (LPR) on the eastbound MacArthur and Julia Tuttle causeways and the 5th Street corridor on specified dates to manage traffic and enhance security. These measures are crucial for identifying offenders and locating stolen vehicles.
- A DUI checkpoint will be operational on the 400 block of 5th Street on the evenings of March 8-9 and March 15-16. Rental services for golf carts, low-speed vehicles, slingshots, motorized scooters, mopeds, and small motorcycles will pause on March 7-10 and March 14-17.
- Vehicle access to Ocean Drive will be strictly controlled, with entry only via 13th Street and exit at 5th Street on designated weekends. Barricades will be placed to safeguard pedestrians from traffic.
Throughout March, the city will intensify parking enforcement and towing, focusing particularly on residential zones.
Parking will be prohibited on Collins Avenue from 5th Street to Española Way and on Washington Avenue from 5th to 16th streets starting at 5 a.m. from March 7-11, March 14-18, and March 21-24.
The 100 blocks of 6th to 14th streets will see parking restrictions in effect around the clock from March 7-11, March 14-17, and March 21-24. Holders of Residential Zone 5 parking permits will be exempt, except where signage indicates otherwise.
Parking on the 200 blocks of 6th to 15th streets will face nightly restrictions from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. during the periods of March 7-10, March 14-17, and March 21-24. This exemption also applies to Residential Zone 5 parking permit holders, unless signage specifies differently.
Throughout March, staffing for the Miami Beach Police, Fire Rescue, Ocean Rescue, Code Compliance, Park Rangers, Parking, and Sanitation departments will see a significant increase.
Additional support for the MBPD will come from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol, Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade Schools Police Department, and other local law enforcement bodies.
The Miami Beach Fire Department will boost its staffing, including Fire Inspectors conducting occupancy load and life safety system inspections at nightclubs and other venues during weekend nights.
Goodwill Ambassadors in pink “Take Care of Our City” T-shirts will be stationed across the Entertainment District to assist visitors with inquiries, directions, and tips for enjoying the city.
Miami Beach Trolley Service
During March’s peak weekends, the Miami Beach free citywide trolley service will follow an extended schedule. Additional vehicles will be added to South Beach Loops A and B and two extra vehicles to the Collins Express route, operating from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on March 8-11 and March 15-17.
For more details, please visit www.miamibeachfl.gov/breakup.