Florida beaches brace for spring break crowds

  • Local authorities are implementing new parking fines, bag checks
  • This comes after two deadly spring break shootings in Florida last year
  • South and Central Florida beaches will also see increased police presence

TOPSHOT – Revelers play beach football in Miami Beach, Florida March 17, 2022. – Music, dancing, alcohol and tiny swimsuits — spring vacation in the United States, popularly known as “spring break,” brings thousands of young people to south Florida every year for a few days of uncontrolled fun, much to the chagrin of residents in cities like Miami Beach. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — Florida beach cities are bracing for spring breakers with increased police presence and new restrictions.

Officials are working to limit the spring break chaos in Miami’s South Beach by implementing $100 flat fees for parking, doubling towing rates for non-residents to $516 and closing some parking garages altogether.

The city will also not have sidewalk seating for cafes along Ocean Drive and limit beach access to avoid chaotic scenes seen in previous years. Bag checks, DUI checkpoints and increased patrols were also added to help prevent unlawful activity.

These new restrictions come on the heels of last year’s chaotic spring break that resulted in two deadly shootings and nearly 500 arrests, according to authorities.

Miami Beach Police Department says people can expect to see more officers around the beach this weekend and the Florida Highway Patrol will be visible until 3 a.m.

Though some students have already reached Florida for their spring breaks, local police departments are expected to be in “high-impact” mode starting next week, according to CBS News.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico have issued a spring break travel warning for Americans planning to visit the country, another popular spring break destination for college students.

“U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break locations including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after dark,” the advisory said.

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