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Fort Lauderdale “welcomes” spring breakers with preparations to ensure there’s “organized fun” during the month-long bash, the mayor said. 

Preparations include the standard increased police presence with “strategic” law enforcement strategies, as well as out-of-the-box, practical safety measures, like free roofie tests to make sure drinks are drug free, and rideshare zones to limit the number of cars and cut down on drunken driving.

The Florida city announced detailed plans that include a list of restrictions on beaches – although nothing as drastic as Miami Beach’s edicts – such as prohibiting alcohol, coolers, live and/or amplified music, electric scooters and tents on beaches. 

“We want to make your spring break experience the best experience you’ve ever had,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said. “Why? Because we want you to come back. We want you to come back next year, we want you to come back in future years and, hey, maybe you want to make Fort Lauderdale your home.”

FLORIDA SPRING BREAK HAS FAMILY BEACH TOWNS BRACING FOR CROWDS AS MIAMI BEACH CRACKS DOWN

After the mayor made opening remarks during a Friday morning press conference, the police chief came to the podium to say law enforcement will lay down the hammer on those who wreak havoc. 

“We have an expectation of behavior,” Police Chief William Schultz said. “And just remember if any of these are violated, you can be arrested. We absolutely will be watching out for alcoholic beverage violations. That includes taking open alcohol into places that aren’t allowed and giving alcohol to anyone under 21.”

FLORIDA SPRING BREAK HAS FAMILY BEACH TOWNS BRACING FOR CROWDS AS MIAMI BEACH CRACKS DOWN

The city included a list of regulations on its website, which includes what’s prohibited in certain areas. 

Chief Schultz went on to say uniformed and undercover police will be looking for fake IDs, causing public disturbances or fighting, and public indecency. 

Spring breakers party
Fort Lauderdale's restrictions
Spring breakers with beach umbrella

Moving beyond the law-and-order crackdown, Schultz and the fire chief announced additional safety measures will be in place. 

That includes free tests – that come in the shape of cards – to test if your drink was drugged or spiked, and there will be more lifeguards and jet ski patrols on the beaches, as well as accessible Narcan – an opioid-overdose antidote – in each hotel and by lifeguards on the beach. 

FLORIDA SPRING BREAK PARTIERS CAUSE MIAMI MAYHEM

The city also set up “rideshare zones” and additional circuit shuttles that will pick you up at your location and drop you off anywhere in the service area. The city also has a separate community shuttle service for longer trips or bigger groups. 

The mayor said he wants to cut down vehicle traffic along the beach and the tourist areas, while avoiding drunken driving. 

The card that the police chief is holding can text drinks for drugs and will be free throughout Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break.
Rideshare zones will be set up to cut down traffic congestion.
Florida spring break

Fort Lauderdale, which has the largest strip of beaches in Broward County, has been in the spotlight more in 2024 than in previous years after Miami Beach’s mayor and police brass had enough of the annual chaos and “divorced” spring break. 

The city enacted several new laws and regulations that essentially gut the annual event after last year’s chaos, when two people were fatally shot, several were injured in stampedes, and police made 488 arrests (including 230 felony arrests) and seized 105 firearms. 

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This happens year after year throughout the streets around Miami Beach.

Miami Beach Mayor Steven Meiner told Fox News Digital that he had a direct message to visitors planning to party in his city: “Come here, enjoy our city, but don’t come looking for trouble. It won’t end well.”

He said there will be license plate readers, DUI checkpoints and more law enforcement “than you’ve ever seen.”

Spring breakers
Spring breakers spend time on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

The chaos typically hasn’t spread 30 miles up to the coast to cities like Fort Lauderdale, which had the exact opposite feel during Friday’s press conference with the clear, blue skies and swaying palm trees in the backdrop. 

“We look forward to another peaceful spring break, as we’ve had for many years,” City Manager Greg Chavarria said. “We expect an influx of visitors and have enhanced our operations to keep everyone safe and happy during their visit. 

“People may see an increase in public safety staff, stronger enforcement of beach policies and greater transportation options to reduce vehicular traffic on roadways, among other measures.”

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said during the March 1 press conference.
Fort Lauderdale spring break

Fort Lauderdale’s website includes tips from the police department’s Bar Watch program, which is a network of people, including bar staff and police officers, who know how to identify and act upon potentially troublesome situations.

The website included these tips to reduce risk of sexual assault (tips from the Nancy J. Cotterman Center):

  • Travel in a group. Check in with each other and leave together. Don’t be isolated.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably is.
  • Watch your drink. Never leave it unattended. Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Know what is going on around you.
  • Don’t feel obligated. Don’t do anything you don’t want to or feel uncomfortable about.

WATCH FORT LAUDERDALE’S FULL MARCH 1 PRESS CONFERENCE 

The police department also talked about pickpocketing as a common crime and included these tips:

  • Keep it close: Never leave your phone or wallet unattended, including on a bar, on a table, or in a restroom.
  • Keep your wallets and phones in a front pants pocket.
  • Keep pockets zipped and purses buttoned, and always keep them on you.
  • If you carry a purse, keep the straps short to keep it close to your body.
  • When you go out, only take the bare minimum of cash and cards needed.
  • Always be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
  • Report suspicious activity. See something, say something.

Fox News Digital’s Julia Bonavita contributed to this report.

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