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Spring break madness sweeps Miami Beach

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Miami Beach’s spring break season was out of control with shootings, curfews, and the seizing of 243 million dollars of cocaine. 

Miami Beach has always been a hot travel destination for the spring break season but this year it was out of control. Ultra Music Festival and spring break overlapping with each other caused disaster with 50,000 people attending the festival each day. Residents were forced to deal with heavy traffic and increased crime. One resident noted that, “Spring break in Miami beach is crazy and people get so out of control! On top of all that, the traffic to get to the beach was insane.” 

Three people were hospitalized from a shooting on Ocean Drive, a popular tourist area with bars and restaurants. The next day, two women were also shot on Ocean Drive.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber put in safety measures to address the issue. Alcohol sales were banned past 6 pm and a curfew was implemented Mar. 23 – 28 where businesses, clubs, and bars were not permitted to be open past midnight. He said, “We don’t ask for spring break. We don’t promote it. We don’t encourage it. We just endure it and frankly it’s not something we want to endure. We don’t want spring break.” He said that 371 police officers were deployed that weeked and 75 guns were confiscated by Florida officials. There were reports of street fights, stampedes, and public indecency. One resident noted that, The curfew was effective because after it was implemented there were no more shootings. In addition, after the curfew was imposed vandalism and inappropriate conduct ceased. Spring break should not be an excuse to engage in criminal behavior.” 

The curfew ended on Monday, March 28, making it the third year in a row Miami Beach placed restrictions during spring break. Many businesses lost a lot of revenue due to these restrictions. One store owner estimated that he lost 10,000 dollars a day. Papi Steak and Treehouse NightClub filed a lawsuit against the city. Many Businesses are upset because of the revenue they have lost which they call “the busiest week of the year.” 

The Coast Guard has offloaded 243 million dollars and 8,5000 pounds of cocaine in Miami Beach. They have put 13 suspects from the Dominican Republic and Colombia into custody during a 45 day patrol of the Caribbean. The Royal Netherlands navy has also assisted in this operation. The suspect vessel was initially noticed in Key West. It was monitored by the Coast guard and allied military forces.

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