MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach has taken its first step towards limiting alcohol sales during Spring Break.
On Wednesday, in a 5-2 vote, the city’s commission passed a measure that would set the “last call for alcohol” in the South Beach entertainment district.
“I think this is extremely limited. It’s extremely constrained in what it affects. It’s not the whole month, it’s not the whole year. It’s now two weeks,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “It’s not midnight, it’s not 10 p.m. It’s 2 a.m.”
Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements spoke at the meeting. He said the limiting of alcohol sales at certain hours would “absolutely” help his troops during Spring Break.
The new hours would begin on March 6 and continue for 17 days. It would only affect the sale of alcohol at places with on-site consumption, like at bars and restaurants.
The last call for beer and wine at supermarkets or convenience stores near the district is 8 p.m.
However, business owners shared concerns that factored into a compromise. Currently, booze is 5 a.m.
“I think 3 a.m. is a good compromise,” said Commissioner Steven Meiner.
And with that, Mayor Gelber amended the limit to 12 days and until 3 a.m.
But not all commissioners were on board – not even with the 2 a.m. booze ban.
“The only thing we have to vote on is for spring break is a 2 a.m. shutdown,” said Commissioner Ricky Arriola. “None of us are comfortable that this will be an actual solution to the problem.”
The proposal could become law at the Feb. 26 commission meeting if it’s finalized.