City officials gather to discuss changing alcohol curfew times in Miami Beach

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber is in favor of ending alcohol sales after 2:00 a.m. and described today as a moment of reconciliation for the city commission.

MIAMI BEACH – Miami Beach officials gathered on Wednesday to discuss changing the times for the alcohol curfew in Miami Beach.

One of the items that passed would allow more than 150 businesses to keep their 5 a.m. license and another calls for a 2 a.m. cut off.

There are others that have some exceptions, like hotels and neighborhood bars.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber is in favor of ending alcohol sales after 2 a.m.

“My hope is that we can find some commonality that gets us to four, five votes out of seven,” said Gelber.

It was back in November of last year when residents in Miami Beach voted to roll back alcohol sales.

“I would be satisfied if we substantially roll back to 2 a.m. certainly in the entertainment district and with some exceptions at hotels and some other places,” Gelber said.

The mayor believes it’s a way to curb the chaos Miami Beach has seen throughout the years down in the entertainment district, especially on Ocean Drive.

Last month during spring break, city leaders called a state of emergency and a weekend midnight curfew was put in place following shootings where several people were injured.

Not all commissioners believe shutting down at 2 a.m. is the right solution.

Commissioner Ricky Arriola says stopping alcohol sales at 2 a.m. citywide with no exceptions is a grave mistake and will have profound, negative effects on the community.

“Miami Beach is known for its nightlife, we are a tourist city,” Arriola said.

He pointed to the ongoing crypto conference and wondered where visitors like them would go if the last call is at 2 a.m. He worries they’ll go to Miami or stop coming, period.

“I think you can still be a vibrant tourist destination, have responsible nightlife, and deal with the crime problems that sometimes we have,” Arriola said.

The city commission will meet again on May 25 to decide on how they will move forward.


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.