In 2017, Miami Beach voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to move last call from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Ocean Drive. But at a recent meeting, the city’s police chief, Dan Oates, suggested closing area bars even earlier — at midnight — during the busiest two weeks of spring break.
“Turn off the music on Ocean Drive,” he said during the city commission’s FY 2020 budget retreat, according to RE: Miami Beach. “Shut the cafés, (midnight) last call for 15 days in March.”
The chief presented a plan calling for a major police presence similar to the “emergency” measures Miami Beach officials rolled out this year, when squads of officers patrolled the beach in riot gear. He said this would cost $2.6 million, in addition to the $1.1 million already budgeted for spring break.
If city officials convince visitors that Miami Beach is no longer fun, though, things might change. Oates acknowledged that the goal of turning off the music and rolling back last call is to “eventually make us less pleasant to come to.”