GULF SHORES — Alcohol will be prohibited again on public beaches in Gulf Shores during spring break in an effort to discourage rowdy behavior by visiting students.Gulf Shores City Council was …
GULF SHORES — Alcohol will be prohibited again on public beaches in Gulf Shores during spring break in an effort to discourage rowdy behavior by visiting students.
Gulf Shores City Council was scheduled to vote Monday, Jan. 23, to ban alcohol on city beaches from March 3 until April 24.
During a work session Tuesday, Jan. 17, Police Chief Ed Delmore told council members that the ban has been an effective deterrent in the past. The city first enacted the spring break ban several years ago, after Florida cities began clamping down on excessive behavior.
The Florida bans caused some visitors to look for other areas that allowed alcohol on the beaches, Delmore said.
"In 2016, due to some other beach communities in Florida tamping down on bad behavior on their beaches, including places like Panama City, we saw a significant increase in bad behavior on our beach in the early days of spring break 2016," Delmore said. "As a result, we thought it was important and we asked you for an emergency provision at that time to ban alcohol on our beaches during the period of spring break."
He said that since the Gulf Shores ban was enacted, local law enforcement has had fewer problems with disruptions during the break period.
"We saw immediate and positive results from that," Delmore said. "You have agreed to do that every year since for the period of spring break and because of its continued success, we're asking that you do that again this year for the period of spring break and the weekend that precedes it."
Delmore said the dates of the ban will prohibit alcohol on city beaches during most of the spring break for schools in 2023.
Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said the practice of banning alcohol has worked well for the city.
"We've seen a very positive results from this move," Craft said. "At least, we haven't seen the negative that we've seen in the past, so the improvements were really astounding."
Violators of the city ban can be fined up to $500 and sentenced to six months in jail if convicted, according to reports.
Orange Beach has not banned alcohol in the past but has increased law enforcement patrols on beaches in the city and has closed the Alabama Point East Beach public area during the spring break period.