GULF SHORES, AL. - A recent beach alcohol ban has led to a decline in spring break students visiting Panama City Beach.
Instead, spring breakers are heading to nearby Alabama beaches that allow drinking on the beach.
During a special Gulf Shores City Council meeting Friday, the council adopted an ordinance to prohibit the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages along the entire Gulf beaches in the City of Gulf Shores corporate limits. The ban on alcohol is in effect from March 1st through April 17th.
“The city has a responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents and visitors and an obligation to protect the reputation of the city as a family-friendly destination,” Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said during the meeting. Craft went on to say, “In order to keep spring break in Gulf Shores a safe environment, it is time we take action.”
Any person in violation of the ordinance could face a fine up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in jail.
Baldwin County authorities say they've already made more than 600 arrests this spring break season. Officials say at least 80% of those arrests are for underage drinking or minors in possession of alcohol.
City officials say they welcome beach-goers. However, they want their beaches to be treated with respect.
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