Alcohol ban on beaches begins

Destiny Hosmer
Online Content Editor

If enjoying a drink on the beach is on your spring break agenda, you should pay close attention to your destination’s alcohol regulations before packing your bags.
In light of last year’s public sexual assault allegedly involving two Troy students and a shooting at a house party that resulted in seven injured, Panama City Beach officials in Florida have passed ordinances for spring break 2016 that they hope will combat these types of issues.
Ryan Calhoun and Delonte Martistee, the two Troy students arrested after a video of a public sexual assault on the beach surfaced, are still awaiting trial. They are currently still on a suspended status with the university.
During March, consuming alcohol will be prohibited on the beaches at Panama City Beach.
Florida also has open-container laws stating that it is illegal to have open alcoholic beverages in vehicles or within 50 feet of a public thoroughfare, meaning that you cannot take your drink with you on your stroll down the street.
Panama City is not the only popular spring break destination with strict alcohol rules, as Preston Pritchett warned at a spring break awareness table in the Trojan Center on Tuesday, March 1.
Pritchett, a junior criminal justice major from Selma, said that the alcohol rules and regulations are not keeping him from the beach this spring break, and they should not deter others, either.
“We want people to understand the rules and consequences,” Pritchett said. “We aren’t out here to deter anyone from going to the beach.”
In Daytona Beach, Florida, alcohol, glass containers and pets are not allowed on beaches.
In Miami, you can drink alcohol on the beach, but you should have your ID on hand in case a city official asks for proof of age.
If you plan on staying in-state for spring break, Orange Beach mayor Tony Kennon warned that you should be on your best behavior.
In an article, Kennon was quoted saying: “We will have undercover officers, we will have uniformed officers, we will have everyone I can possibly have on the beaches, any place where spring breakers might gather. That is not who we are. We are a family-friendly destination; that’s what we’re going to stay.”
Jeremy Burgess, a junior history major from Enterprise, said that he may be going to Panama City Beach for spring break and looks forward to the smaller crowd.
“I was thinking of going fishing at Panama City Beach, which is more of a possibility now because half of the party crowd will be gone,” he said.
Herbert Reeves, dean of student services, offers several tips for students going on spring break next week.
Reeves advised that students do not drink and drive, do not take drinks from strangers and travel in pairs or groups.
“It’s all about common sense and safety,” Reeves said. “We want students to go out and have a safe and enjoyable time before they come back to finish off the semester.”
Reeves said that if students see wrongdoing, they should report it.
“If you see something, say something,” Reeves said. “You may not be the victim, but you could keep someone else from becoming a victim.”
For the Panama City Beach police substation, call 850-233-5000, and for a taxi, call 850-792-2546 or 850-296-2252.
For the Daytona Beach police, call 386-671-5380.
For the Gulf Shores police, call 251-986-2431, and for a taxi, call 251-228-1417 or 251-550-9400.
In any emergency, call 911.

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