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Miami Beach Defends Liquor Store Curfew to Curb Violence

One week after spring break violence turned fatal and police struggled to control rowdy crowds, Miami Beach has banned liquor sales this weekend, drawing attacks from liquor store owners, WPLG reports. City commissioners passed the ban in lieu of a broader curfew. Liquor stores must shut down by 6 p.m., which drew a lawsuit from one business owner, who complained that the city is "picking on the liquor stores." But Mayor Dan Gelber was unmoved. “I guess there’s a business model that thrives off of some of the chaos,” Gelber said.

Gelber implied that stores not going along with the order weren’t cooperating with city efforts to stem the violence. “It’s unfortunate,” he said. “We would hope that our businesses would be partners as we try to tamp down spring break.” City officials are hoping the order curbs misbehavior. “We’re not going to be dissuaded from moving forward and doing what we need to do,” Gelber said. “I’d like to still see a (full) curfew, but I don’t think that’s going to happen unless there’s support from the commission for that.” Former Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine took to social media to criticize the commission for not passing the broader curfew, ordering people off the streets by midnight. “Unfortunately, we have a commission that is so weak in the knees, that gets so influenced by campaign cash to their PACs,” Levine said. “They would rather do whatever it takes to keep themselves in office than to do the right thing.” City officials are also ordering city-owned parking garages to be closed by 9 p.m. Police say there will also be road closures as needed and license plate readers will be operating along main thoroughfares.


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