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Spring break state of emergency in Miami Beach cracks down on liquor sales and takeout, imposes curfew

City officials announced the order Monday, citing a spike in violence because of of spring break crowds.
A Miami Beach police vehicle cuts through crowds near Ocean Drive on Saturday.Daniel A. Varela / Miami Herald via AP

A state of emergency order goes into effect Thursday in Miami Beach, Florida, restricting alcohol sales and takeout orders in addition to imposing a curfew.

City officials announced the order Monday at a joint news conference, citing a spike in violence because of spring break crowds. The state of emergency imposes a midnight-to-6 a.m. curfew in the busy entertainment district.

It also restricts alcohol sales and food services, according to the city's website.

Any alcohol sale or alcohol distribution for "off-premises consumption" is banned after 6 p.m. on each day the state of emergency is in effect.

Takeout and pickup service is also banned from midnight to 6 a.m., according to the order. Delivery services, considered essential, are allowed to continue.

“Commercial businesses must admit their last guests within a time frame that allows them to leave by 11:59 p.m. each night,” the city says.

Hotels will still be able to provide services during that time frame, but only to paid guests. It's unclear whether that includes alcohol sales for hotels that might include on-premises bars.

The order remains in place until Monday at 6 a.m. and may be reinstated for the following weekend if city officials deem it necessary.

It is the second year in a row that Miami Beach has imposed a state of emergency order for spring break. Mayor Dan Gelber said Monday that rowdy tourists have created an "unacceptable" atmosphere of fear.

Gelber said he hopes the restrictions will discourage people from thinking of Miami Beach as a "24-hour party city."

Five bystanders were hospitalized in two random shootings over the weekend, before city officials agreed on the order.

"We don’t want spring break here ... but they keep coming," Gelber said. "People keep coming here in large numbers, such large numbers that it creates an almost impossible situation for our police.”