Florida Spring Break Laws: What rules does South Florida have for Spring Breakers during the Covid pandemic? Fort Lauderdale Criminal lawyers cough it up
Every year college students near and far flock to South Florida for spring break - crowding the beaches from Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale Beach all the way to West Palm Beach. This year looks no different, with Fort Lauderdale hotels and beach resorts already at max capacity well into April in some cases.
Bars, restaurants, hotels and more are hoping to enforce covid-era rules as the coronavirus pandemic still continues on in South Florida. The influx of spring breakers is expected to start hitting Fort Lauderdale and South Florida this week.
Barricades were already installed along A1A’s Ocean Drive along Fort Lauderdale beach in an effort to enforce social distancing among the spring break party mobs.
Florida’s relaxed coronavirus rules?: Elected officials are warning spring breakers that coronavirus precautions will be enforced
South Florida officials send a message to Florida Spring Breakers: we do have coronavirus precautions, and we will enforce them.
Florida Officials try to combat the idea that Florida doesn’t have coronavirus rules ahead of spring break crowds.
Florida’s Spring Break laws and rules during the coronavirus pandemic
No alcohol will be allowed on South Florida beaches. That means no alcohol on the beach, in a tent, in a cooler, in a floatie, on a table, etc. Public drinking is not allowed.
Police will also be cracking down on underage drinking, drug use and public alcohol consumption - no alcohol is allowed on the sand.
Public disturbances by people who are drunk will also lead to citations and arrests for spring breakers. This can include not leaving a bar or restaurant after a warning, or returning to the bar after you were asked to leave.
Violent behavior will not be tolerated and can result in arrests and serious criminal charges, South Florida officials warn.
Think before you flash: Public Indecency including exposing male or female sexual organs or breasts will not be tolerated and can result in criminal arrests and citations for Spring Breakers.
Masks or handcuffs? The choice is up to you
People who refuse to wear masks in South Florida are still facing trespassing charges and are clashing with police. These consequences are happening despite DeSantis' orders to not punish mask violators. If spring breakers refuse to wear masks while in Florida on Spring break, they could be looking at up to 1 year in local jail.
While dramatic maskless issues are overall rare, police in South Florida do say arrests are still a last resort, according to the Sun Sentinel. An arrest, however, means that someone could end up in criminal court in South Florida over not complying with face mask orders.
The Broward Sheriff's Office hasn't yet had a severe issue with criminal mask violations, But Sgt. Prichard told Sun Sentinel that "Deputies will continue to educate, warn and as a last resort will take enforcement action."
If you refuse a business’ order to wear a mask or comply with their social distancing rules, you can face criminal charges. Businesses can enforce mask policies, so if people don’t comply and if the police are called - spring breakers could be facing Florida criminal charges such as trespassing after warning. Criminal Trespass after warning can lead to up to 1 year in jail if the person is convicted.
Fort Lauderdale Spring Break 2021 Rules:
- Encouraged social distancing
- Cooperation from college students expected
- Laws that will be enforced:
- serving alcohol to people under 21 will be cracked down on
- Fake ID cards won’t be tolerated
- Public indecency and disturbances will be fined or criminally charged
- Fighting will not be allowed
- No alcohol containers or beverages allowed on sand beach
- No tents on beach
- Safety lanes on A1 A for safe pedestrian walkways and new drop off and pick up site
One very important change in Fort Lauderdale for spring breakers is that no one can be dropped off, or picked up, from Fort Lauderdale Beach on A1A Ocean Drive.
Any driver who drops off or picks up a passenger on A1A will get a citation. The designated drop off and pick up site is Las Olas Oceanside Park.
Fort Lauderdale officials say they will especially be cracking down on people drinking alcohol on the beach, and on people who have tents and canopies on the sand (which are not allowed).
Miami Spring Break 2021 Rules:
- No consumption of alcohol in public places
- LIVE music limited
- Capacity on Public beaches
- Curfew from 12am to 6 am
- Liquor sales stop at 10pm
Buy your booze ahead of time: Miami Beach packaged liquor sales will stop city-wide at 10 p.m. In the Art Deco District, alcohol package sales will stop at 8 p.m.
Live music is also limited and will be monitored.
Miami Beach police also have concerns about general crime during the spring break period. Miami Beach Police are expecting larger crowds this year than in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic was just picking up steam in South Florida and the nation. The large crowds have police nervous as there has been a steady rise in violent crime in Miami in recent weeks. Police are even more focused on security with spring break starting.
Miami’s mayor publicly announced that if people are coming to South Florida and Miami for spring break because they think we don’t have coronavirus rules that they’re mistaken and need to go somewhere else.
South Florida’s Spring Break Curfew rules
Fort Lauderdale’s Spring Break Curfew:
Party on, party people - Broward County Officials have decided to have NO curfew put into place during the spring break period.
Rather than putting spring breakers under curfew rules, Broward County has instead decided to put the rules and penalties on the businesses. Restaurants, bars and businesses will be under a vigilant code-enforcement watch by officials and could face fines and shutdowns wif they violate the coronavirus pandemic safety standards.
Fort Lauderdale is armed and ready with business shutdown orders if needed, however. Certain businesses may even be checked on every 2 hours, according to officials.
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” Broward Mayor Steve Geller told Sun Sentinel. “Having national pictures of Fort Lauderdale as a town with all of those crazy college kids in the middle of a pandemic will be counterproductive to our goal of bringing … major businesses to Broward County.”
Miami’s Spring Break Curfew:
In Miami, it’s a bit of a different story. Miami-Dade County's curfew is from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. daily. There are also capacity limits set on the high-traffic public beaches, according to NBC 6.
Sidewalk restaurants in the Art Deco Cultural District will close at midnight each night.
Palm Beach’s Spring Break Curfew:
Palm Beach County voted against a curfew for Spring Breakers.
Spring breakers beware: Crimes we expect to be more heavily enforced during Florida’s spring break season
DUIs: We expect to see an increase in Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges during spring break in South Florida. What many people don’t know is that you can also get a DUI for driving while under the influence of drugs. If you’re pulled over for a DUI in Florida while on Spring break, know your rights. You don’t have to do field sobriety tests and you don’t have to do a breath test.
Trespass Charges: Because you can get a trespass charge in Florida for not wearing a mask, we expect to see these charges increase over Florida’s spring break.
Florida Spring Break Crimes: These crimes are always crimes, but they always spike during spring break:
- Fake ID crimes
- Public Indecency / Indecent Exposure Crimes
- Fighting and Violent Crimes
- Alcohol on the Beaches
- Public Disturbances
- Open House Party crimes
2021 South Florida Spring Break Guide: Bars, Restaurants & events open for Spring Break in Florida
While many bars and restaurants have been open in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida for quite some time, there are some notable mentions:
Rock Bar - On Fort Lauderdale Beach, Rock bar will be opening its backyard pool deck for the FIRST time since Covid shutdowns. Masks and social distancing will be in place.
Solluna - A “seaside cantina” formerly known as Tsukuro is now serving up mexican food and tequila - both tequila shots and 45-ounc mega-size margaritas.
Palm Beach Spring Break Events
- Respectable Street in West Palm Beach booked Jeff Hardy (a rocker-wrestler) and a popular Smiths tribute band for March 12 & 13 to kick off spring break in South Florida
- Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton will host Vibes Farm and Southern Blood the weekend of March 12.
Free Same-Day COVID Testing for Florida Spring Breakers
If you're not feeling well or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, there are several testing locations across Miami-Dade and Broward County that offer free, same-day testing.
- For a full list of testing sites in Miami-Dade County: click here
- For a full list of testing sites in Broward County: click here
Break the law on Spring Break? Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorneys and DUI Attorneys Offer Free Help
While we’d hate for anyone’s vacation to end with an arrest or any form of legal trouble, Rossen Law Firm is here and ready to help you if you’ve been charged with a crime while on spring break in Florida.
We offer free strategy sessions, above and beyond a free consultation to anyone in need of a criminal lawyer or DUI lawyer in South Florida.
Our 400+ 5-star reviews attest to the kind of incredible results we get our clients and our customer service. We fight for the best possible outcome on every single case. We know your life and your future depend on it.
We put in the work other lawyers won’t, so that we can get you results other lawyers can’t.