Break or bust: An afternoon at the WCSO compound on the beach

spring break

Tuesday afternoon saw 52 arrests and seven NTAs (Notice to Appear) issued for minors in possession of alcohol. At press time, WCSO has arrested 259 breakers.

Kathy Harrison | The Sun
Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 04:41 PM.

It's 1 p.m. Tuesday and there have been no arrests yet at Whale's Tail Beach in Miramar Beach .

"The cold weather has kept the breakers off the beach," said Lt. Keith Chamblee of the Walton County Sheriff's Office.

But just 30 minutes later, it seems he has spoken too soon. While deputies sit underneath a canopy, they get a call that an officer on bike has arrested a breaker. Two officers immediately get up and head over to pick up the breaker in a van.

It was 2009 that the spring break crowds started to fill up condos and beach houses in South Walton. Last year, local officials and the WCSO had declared they had had enough and began aggressively arresting underage drinkers. Deputies heavily patrolled the beaches issuing more than 1,000 arrests for the spring break season and even famously broke up a large house party sending 32 co-eds to jail in DeFuniak Springs.

This year, however, is different.

"The NTAs [Notices to Appear] were not getting their attention as they should have been," Chamblee said.

Instead of just handing out NTAs to offending visitors, WCSO is now offering a free ride to jail in DeFuniak Springs with all arrests.

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