Without a doubt, Florida is the number one area in the United States chosen as a great place to go during spring break. This can be especially true for many students who live in states that have freezing cold winters. Consider shoveling your driveway due to an unexpected spring snow storm instead of partying on a warm, sunny beach with white sands and blue waters. It’s easy to see how one may be planning their escape to the Sunshine State, even if it’s just for a brief respite from the freezing temperatures.
Of course, there is the relatively new trend of choosing Europe as a spring break destination, but there is a long way to go before Europeans see the swarms of college and high school students converging on South Florida. For many, plans to reach Florida’s beautiful beaches begin years before they become reality. The kids start talking about how fresh spring break will be from high school.
Of course, with the multitude of visitors flocking to an area in a relatively narrow time frame, problems are likely to arise. All Floridians are familiar with the hordes of spring breaker marauders and the tremendous effects, both good and bad, they have on the economy, traffic volume, the mood of many locals, and the number of traffic tickets. issued by various laws. enforcement agencies.
The economy begins to flourish when the tourist season begins. This season is typically late October through May 1, and the end of the season is the time when we can expect Spring Break to descend on our communities. For many retailers, such as hotels, bars, restaurants, and gift shops, the last month of the season is a godsend allowing them to financially survive the slower summer months.
For the locals, this can be a very frustrating time. Crowds, loud parties, and drunk college kids can seriously affect the sun-kissed existence of many of us who live here year-round. Imagine dealing with these issues for weeks until all spring break is over. Simple things like not being able to find a place to park in your favorite spot can get tedious after a few weeks.
When it comes to traffic, it is often difficult to navigate the roads and paths of South Florida in the best conditions. Stir are a few thousand inexperienced college-age drivers who may very well be intoxicated with alcohol or illicit drugs, and you have a significant recipe for disaster. Not only does this present a great danger to those who visit, but it puts all drivers at increased risk of injury or death as a result of a traffic accident. These visiting drivers don’t even necessarily have to be under the influence of any substance. Their limited experience, combined with increased traffic and not being on familiar roads, adds statistically to their being at a much higher risk of being involved in a traffic accident.
Sadly, as young adults we tend to think that this kind of thing only happens to other people, but statistics show that it has to happen to SOMEONE. Add in a dash of the bravery that most young men experience, and it’s easy to see why this is an important component of why insurance rates are higher for young men. Of course, with this increase in traffic and the propensity for students to abuse the freedom that spring break affords them, there is also a greater number of traffic tickets being issued.
During this time of year, there are a lot of cops, and I mean A LOT, who are surreptitiously stationed in their little hiding places waiting for a driver with an out-of-state license plate to pass by. Despite the fact that the law states that a police officer cannot stop someone without just cause, many law enforcement officials use out-of-state tags as a reason to stop drivers and check their licenses. , assess whether or not the occupants of the vehicle think they have been drinking or using drugs, and whether or not they are in possession of illegally purchased alcohol.
This is often a time when students begin to flex their “adult” muscles, so to speak, but the ramifications of getting into one of these situations can have long-term or even lifelong negative effects. Consider the following scenario.
You and your friends go out to party. They all plan to be responsible adults to be assigned as designated driver. Well damn it. After all, it’s spring break, so you think, “Surely a beer or two won’t hurt you.”
Breastfeed your beer until you and your friends decide to go back to the hotel for a little more fun. His unfamiliarity with the area means he doesn’t realize how many pedestrians and bicyclists there are in South Florida. Since you are unfamiliar with the local roads, you almost lost your turn, so you execute your turn at the last minute … and then you hear a thud. Too late, you realize you’ve just hit a pedestrian.
When the police arrive, they smell the alcohol on your breath, so they naturally administer a field sobriety test and breathalyzer. He thought he was doing the right thing; You thought you were safe, but now someone is injured or possibly killed as a result of your poor judgment. It may have nothing to do with the alcohol you consumed, but that is not how the prosecutor will present it. If you are found guilty of drinking and driving, you may face the following penalties:
• First offense: fine of $ 500 to $ 1,000, 50 hours of community service, 6-9 months in prison and probation of up to one year and vehicle impound for 10 days
• Second offense: fine of $ 1,000 to $ 4,000, 9 to 12 months in prison (with a mandatory minimum of 10 days) and confiscation of the vehicle for 30 days
• Third offense: fine of $ 2,000 to $ 5,000, 9-12 months in prison (with a mandatory minimum of 30 days) and confiscation of the vehicle for 90 days
• Fourth offense: fine of $ 2,000 or more, up to 5 years in prison (with a mandatory minimum of 30 days) and vehicle impound for 90 days
The fact that you live out of state is unlikely to be taken into consideration when you are sentenced; you will have to serve whatever your sentence is, regardless. If you factor in injury or death, you may be facing serious jail time.
Yes, spring break is a rite of passage for many young people, but be aware that penalties for behaving irresponsibly can be life-altering for you and those around you. If you are coming to Florida for Spring Break, we welcome you and hope you have a once-in-a-lifetime experience; just make sure it’s positive. However, if you are one of the thousands who receive a traffic ticket of any kind while visiting here, give us a call for a free consultation at 954-967-9888. Our experienced legal team can help prevent a great experience from turning into a terrible one.