Law Enforcement Ready To Crackdown On Rule-Breaking Spring Breakers In South Florida

CBS4's Peter D'Oench reports on the stepped up enforcement efforts. Read more:

Video Transcript

FRANK SOUSA: In mind of COVID and what we've gone through as a country the last year, we obviously encourage social distancing.

- Right now at 5:00, safe spring break. Soon thousands of college students will be flocking to South Florida. Now, two destination cities are making plans to keep everyone safe while they're here. It's an annual tradition-- we all know it-- that has officials concerned because we are still in the middle of a pandemic.

- Today officials laid out strict safety measures across spring break hotspots Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach. CBS4's Peter D'Oench has the story from Fort Lauderdale.

PETER D'OENCH: Fort Lauderdale police tell us there may be a smaller group of spring breakers here this year because they have heard that many colleges and universities are continuing their classes. Still, they want everyone to be aware of the laws. These were some of the images we saw last spring as thousands of spring breakers descended on Fort Lauderdale, a sea of college students from around the country.

FRANK SOUSA: In mind of COVID and what we've gone through as a country the last year, we obviously encourage social distancing.

PETER D'OENCH: Interim Assistant Police Chief Frank Sousa hopes things will not get out of hand this year.

FRANK SOUSA: So we're just asking for cooperation from our college students that do decide to come to Fort Lauderdale.

PETER D'OENCH: Sousa reminds people Fort Lauderdale laws will be enforced against serving alcohol to those under 21, fake ID cards, public indecency, and disturbances and fighting.

FRANK SOUSA: Keep in mind that no alcoholic containers or beverages are allowed on the sandy portion of the beach. We don't have an open container policy along the beach. They're allowed to drink but only in licensed establishments.

PETER D'OENCH: Tents are not allowed on the beach and safety lanes will be set up on A1A.

FRANK SOUSA: We utilized those last year with the onset of COVID and it proved to be successful. There's going to be barricades set along A1A here to ensure that we have safe pedestrian walkways.

PETER D'OENCH: Coincidentally, Miami Beach also announced enhanced safety measures for spring break, including no consumption of alcohol in public places, live music will be limited, and capacity also limited on public beaches. There will be a curfew from 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM and liquor sales will stop at 10:00 PM. Mayor Dan Gelber had this warning.

DAN GELBER: If people are coming here to go crazy, please don't. Go somewhere else. If you're coming here because you think we don't have rules with regard to COVID, go somewhere else as well.

PETER D'OENCH: Miami Beach will not allow permits for big events and will aggressively enforce its mask mandate.

DAN GELBER: We're still walking up to people and asking them to wear masks and giving them masks

PETER D'OENCH: Broward will also enforce its mask mandate and will monitor bars and restaurants closely.

STEVE GELLER: But if we're going to avoid shutting them down, then they need to comply with our orders on masks and social distancing.

PETER D'OENCH: Fort Lauderdale Police say that ride share drivers will be cited if they drop off or pick up passengers on A1A. They have to do that at nearby Oceanside Park. Spring break starts a week from Saturday and runs through Sunday, April 18th. In Fort Lauderdale, Peter D'Oench, CBS4 News.