MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- An alcohol ban designed to curb heavy late night drinking among spring breakers in Miami Beach will be in effect for two weeks in March, officials said.
Miami Beach City Commissioners voted Wednesday to prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol after 2 a.m. between March 7 and March 21 along the city's entertainment district, commonly referred to as South Beach, the Miami Herald reported. The current last call is 6 a.m. for alcohol sales throughout much of the city.
Commissioners voted 4-3 despite pleas from nightclub operators and employees who argued that a ban would cost them money while creating an unfair advantage for clubs, restaurants and hotels in other parts of the city, the newspaper reported.
“It’s just picking winners and losers. It’s wrong,” said Jimmy Resnick, the landlord for South Beach club Exchange Miami.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and commissioners favoring the ban said it is necessary to free up police resources and ensure public safety during the height of spring break.
Some residents also spoke in favor of the ban.
Spring break brought large crowds to Miami Beach last year, and the city enforced an 8 p.m. curfew to cut down on disorder.
“For the hardship it may deliver, I’m sorry,” Gelber said. “But from our point of view, going through that two-week period … is a danger to the public. It’s a proven danger to the public.”