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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

11 Panama City Beach Spring Break Laws You Need to Know

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Panama City Beach has been a favorite Fort Thomas destination for Spring Break for many years. The Fort Thomas Independent School Calendar generally pencils spring break around the first week in April, well after a traditional college spring break.

But behavior by those same college spring breakers have prompted local Bay County officials to adjust their local laws to protect their citizens by enacting new laws only during the month of March.

So while Panama City Beach businesses say the new laws, aimed at cutting down excess drinking among spring breakers have cost them customers, they will not affect adult spring breakers who take their families to "Fort Thomas South."

Here's a list of the laws passed by the Panama City Beach City Council and the Bay County Commission.
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1. Ban on drinking and possession of alcohol on the sandy Beach in March only. Bay County Sheriff’s Office said violations would lead to arrests.

2. Bars must close at 2 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. in the month of March only.

3. Ban on parking in lots of businesses that have closed after dark.

4. Ban on parking on the Front Beach Road corridor after dark.

5. Ban on consumption of alcoholic beverages in commercial parking lots during the month of March unless such period is extended by resolution of the council.

6. Law scaling back inventory of scooter rentals. Existing scooter rental businesses must operate with no more than 60 scooters at each location, as of Sept. 5, 2017. Overnight rentals would be banned during Spring Break.

7. Law requiring scooter-rental businesses to have insurance in case the rider damages another vehicle or injures someone and for riders to wear safety vests.

8. Law requiring that people who consume alcohol on the Beach (in April and every other month) have a government-issued ID on them available to present to law enforcement.

9. Organizers of special events must go through permitting process and provide security and EMS services, the number of which based on size of event. “Spontaneous pop-up events’ can be broken up by law enforcement.

Bay County
Same laws as city with two additional:
10. Passed a law outlawing anyone under 21 years old, military personnel excluded, from entering an establishment that serves alcohol after midnight.

11. Ordinance identifying activities considered a “public nuisance,” such as public drunkenness, where officers can shut the party down.

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