Miami Beach, FL

Unexpected South Beach Alcohol Sales Schedule Chango from 5:00 AM to 2:00 AM

Desiree Peralta

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After nearly five years of frustrating attempts, the Miami Beach Commission agreed today to reduce the hours for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the South Beach entertainment district.

They will move from 5 to 2 in the morning, the cutoff time for the sale of drinks. It is a controversial decision that does not even have the unanimous agreement of city commissioners.

There were two hours of dozens of arguments, residents, and officials. Split criteria were heard.

Commissioners also unanimously voted in favor of adding a citywide voter referendum to the November ballot that would make the temporary restrictions permanent, although a binding vote cannot take place until July, according to Miamiherald.

This modification was requested by the mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber, due to the multiple complaints he received from residents of the town, specifically from sector 16, who complain about the noise and disorder that arises in the wee hours of the morning.

The sponsors of the regulation believe that reducing alcohol consumption will reduce crime and public disorder that is notable in the city recently.

South Beach local owners are concerned

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After this amendment of the deadline to sell alcoholic beverages, the owners of the premises of South Beach were concerned, because this will reduce their sales that have been affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

“Clubs have nothing to do with it because those people don't buy $15 and $20 drinks inside nightclubs. It's a separate phenomenon, "said David Wallack, owner of" Mangos," said one of the establishments potentially affected by this measure.

"They are deterring future investment and hotel development, for example, because they are reducing the rate due to the environment," noted R. Donahue Peebles.

Meanwhile, Alexander Tachmes of the Clevelander, a member of the Hotel in South Beach said that the time change has not shown that violence has decreased in the city.

"There has been no strong evidence that going from 5 am to 2 am will reduce crime," argued Tachmes.

Critics of the new law, including three commissioners who voted against it, note that for much of the past calendar year, Miami Beach has essentially had a midnight cut in alcohol sales due to the COVID-19 curfew. , even during a chaotic spring break that triggered the proposed rollback, and nothing changed.

These measures can be reversed.

Anyway, the commissioners cannot agree if this strategy is effective.

For that reason, the plan for the change in alcohol sales hours in South Beach will run until November when a referendum takes place. In that vote, the inhabitants will decide whether to maintain the sales regulations until 2:00 am or extend them until 5:00 am.

For now, they determined that the measure will be experimental, at least until November, when voters will be able to vote in a referendum again after the failed attempt in 2017.

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