Spring Break Bust, local officials and residents look to regulate out-of-hand spring breakers

spring break

The number of spring breakers heading to the Emerald Coast has grown exponentially since 2011. Here the co-eds mob the beach near the Whale’s Tail.

Kathy Harrison | The Destin Log
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 15:28 PM.

 

The 2011 and 2012 spring break seasons were great for the economy, but not so great for residents and law enforcement officials. Tourists crowded local restaurants, shops and rentals. But with the influx of college-aged adults, came underage drinking, rowdy parties and crammed condos.

At a spring-break themed South Walton town hall meeting Tuesday night, it was evident that local officials and residents have  had enough.

"2011 was our first big spring break," said Sheriff Mike Adkinson. "2012 was bigger. We had about 500 arrests, primarily underage drinking. We're planning on being very proactive this year, but we can't control the number of visitors."

Concerns about parking, litter and loud music were brought up at the meeting attended by dozens of residents, but all complaints brought the conversation back to booze.

"Do away with beer on the beach and that solves a lot of problems," said Commissioner Cindy Meadows.

The suggestion didn't sit well with one Miramar Beach resident who said, "banning beer is ridiculous."



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