Miami Beach officials held a press conference on Saturday afternoon to announce a new 8 p.m. curfew for the entertainment district.
KARLI BARNETT: We are following breaking news right now at 6:00. Officials in Miami Beach taking action aimed at controlling spring break crowds. A curfew is now in effect for the next 72 hours. These measures come after large groups of people left some locations in South Beach destroyed and forced at least one iconic venue to temporarily shut its doors. CBS 4's Bobeth Yates joins us live from Miami Beach with the actions officials are now taking to prevent even further chaos. Bobeth.
BOBETH YATES: Well, extremely major changes. As you just mentioned, the curfew is moving from 12:00 AM pushing back all the way to 8:00 PM. And now a lot of these spring breakers and businesses aren't happy.
RAUL AGUILA: Starting tonight, an 8:00 PM curfew will be imposed in the MXE District.
BOBETH YATES: Interim Miami Beach City Manager Raul Aguila says they're taking the necessary steps to stop the unruly spring break crowds. The change will impact Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Espanola Way from 5th to 16th Streets.
RAUL AGUILA: We don't want anybody on the streets at 8:00-- after 8:00 PM. This also necessitates the closing of sidewalk cafes, which are now being cleared and which will have to be closed by 7:00 PM, as well as the outdoor pilot program extension of outdoor dining.
BOBETH YATES: But the move isn't sitting well with some restaurant owners, who worry the change will impact business.
STEPHANIE VIORI: So we would have to close and obviously lose all those sales. I mean, we're finally trying to get back on our feet, and it's, you know. And it's not the city's fault, you know what I mean? It's a lot of people, and it's out of control.
BOBETH YATES: Officials say the change is a necessary safety precaution to control the extremely large crowds that have flocked to the beach.
RICHARD CLEMENTS: On Thursday night, where we had an issue where hundreds of people ran at one particular time, and tables and chairs were thrown and used as weapons, and obviously property was destroyed, and we hoped that it was a one-time event. Last night, we had three. We had three of those situations.
BOBETH YATES: In addition to the curfew, eastbound traffic on all three causeways to the beach will also be closed to non-residents.
DAN GELBER: Things happen. It is a tinder. I saw a video of somebody discharging a weapon apparently up in the air, and then hundreds of people started to-- to storm. Now, we're not going to wait for that weapon to be discharged in another direction.
BOBETH YATES: Now, the causeway closures will begin at 9:00 PM tonight and run through 6:00 AM tomorrow morning. Again, that is to eastbound traffic. Live in Miami Beach, Bobeth Yates, "CBS 4 News."
KARLI BARNETT: Bobeth, thank you for those breaking details.