City council puts off vote to change alcohol beach ban

March 23, 2013 by  

On March 13, the Miami Beach city commissioners took up the matter of lifting the ban on alcohol on Miami Beach beaches and promptly laid the matter back down. It was decided that more input from stakeholders, including hotel owners, police, Ocean Drive merchants and local residents, should be gathered before making a decision.

When planning a trip to the sunshine state, it may be many people’s idea of a dream to be sitting on the beach, exotic drink in hand as all of their cares are carried away on the ocean breeze. Often, their vision of the perfect Florida holiday comes true, and they sit on the beach with a frosty libation in hand, but although the law against drinking on the beach is seldom enforced, it is in fact prohibited.

The prohibition of alcohol ocean-side has been a long-standing one, largely unenforced. If the ordinance concerning adult beverages on the beach is amended, it would be up to the hotels to police their beach front areas and ensure they are kept clean. In effect, little would change except that the city would collect revenue and the local print companies would be engaged to produce postures and handouts explaining the new policy.

Alcohol brought to the beach in coolers would still be prohibited, as only alcohol purchased from licensed vendors on the beach or from the hotels would be permitted. As the present policy is largely unenforceable, it is entirely possible that the new one, which will be monitored by the hotels, will actually reduce alcohol-related problems on the sand.