After seeing a rise in violence due to Spring Break, including five people being injured from shootings over the weekend of March 18 alone, the City of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency and will begin a midnight curfew for the next two weekends.
The curfew starts at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 24, and remains in place until Monday, March 28, at 6:01 a.m. The city hopes to implement the same curfew next weekend, March 31 to April 4, as well following approval from the city commission.
The curfew will be enforced for areas south of 23rd street, down south to South Pointe Drive, from the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Biscayne Bay on the west. This area includes popular Spring Break locations like Ocean Drive and the Entertainment District.
“We didn’t ask for spring break and we don’t want it,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber during a press conference.
This is the second year in a row that the City of Miami Beach has to implement evening curfews during the Spring Break season. Last year the city implemented an 8 p.m. curfew for several weeks due to ongoing violence and crowds.
Last year the city shutdown its major causeways each evening to implement the curfew. This year officials said they don’t plan to go to such drastic measures, but it is looking into ways to created a traffic blockade by Fifth Street that would only allows residents or visitors with business to enter after midnight.
“Our city is an island with limited capacity,” said City Manager Alina Hudak during a press conference. “It was not built for these types of crowds.”