SPRING BREAK Drunk teens on Florida beaches Smell of drugs sex in public
By Ruth Styles In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, For Dailymail.com
Published: 15:59 EDT, 12 March 2018 | Updated: 19:42 EDT, 12 March 2018
The scene was one of 'controlled chaos': hundreds of students openly smoking drugs, shot-gunning beer and performing lewd dance moves as the first weekend of Spring Break got underway on Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Beach.
Others could be seen swigging from bottles of vodka and whiskey or guzzling tequila hidden in water pistols while some had to be helped off the sand after becoming too drunk to stand.
All of that in defiance of a 'zero tolerance policy' towards drugs and alcohol on the beach and a heavy police presence that included K-9 and mounted units.
One local cop told DailyMail.com: 'What you're seeing is controlled chaos. This isn't even a particularly busy day.
'Mostly, what we see is misdemeanor stuff, drunk, fighting stuff. One of them will get out a boom box and they all crowd round it.
'There's definitely drugs – you can smell it in the air – so what we do is take a K-9 through every so often.'
Fort Lauderdale is one of the most popular Spring Break destinations in Florida, with a recent survey putting it in second place after Orlando and its theme park resorts and ahead of nearby Miami.
Spring Break tradition: Hundreds of college students from across the country descended on to Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Beach to kick off a drug and booze-filled week. Above spring breakers are seen partying with mugs and containers of alcohol in their hands in defiance of the 'zero tolerance policy' towards drugs and alcohol on the beach and a heavy police presence that included K-9 and mounted units
Party all day, party all night: A group of girls pose for the cameras as they hold up their jugs containing some type of alcoholic concoction
Chug, chug, chug: A spring breaker holds up a girl on his shoulders as she guzzles a can of beer into his mouth while friends record the act on their phones
Greek life: Sigma Chi frat boys were seen flying their fraternity letters and hoisting girls up on their shoulders as they partied under the sun
Drunken fun: Chaos ensued all day on Friday with students openly smoking drugs, shot-gunning beer and performing lewd dance moves. Most revelers brought with them speakers or sound systems to blast music in the sand
Ladies' man? One man tried to recreate the photo of himself on his t-shirt by carrying two bikini-clad women over his shoulder
Order: Police said they attempted to create an orderly environment where revelers could still enjoy themselves. 'The thing that is always the catalyst to create issues is alcohol – alcohol is always a big issue when you have a lot of college kids together,' Major Dana Swisher said
It is not certain how this year's festivities will compare to Spring Break last year - which saw a 72 percent increase in police callouts to the beach compared to 2015 – with 131 911-calls during the month of March and 47 arrests
Of the estimated 1.5 million students set to go on vacation this week and the 2.5 million following the week after, approximately 100,000 are expected to descend on the Florida city.
'Honestly the beaches are packed, the party's always down here,' Jen Ella Spader, a 22-year-old student from Florida Atlantic University, told DailyMail.com.
Trent Donohue, 18, of Ohio State University in Cincinnati said: 'It's the place to be – it's all I've heard all year.'
His friend Jack Raare, 20, added: 'It's the college spot.'
But while a slice of the estimated $1billion that Spring Break is thought to be worth to the US economy as a whole is welcome, the party comes at a price for police budgets and city residents.
Last year's revelry resulted in a 72 percent increase in police callouts to the beach compared to 2015 – with 131 911-calls during the month of March and 47 arrests.
On Friday alone, DailyMail.com witnessed eight incidents in which kids were hauled off the beach or cited for drug and alcohol possession within the space of 30 minutes.
Earlier, a mounted police unit was seen charging into the crowd after an empty can was thrown at one of the horses.
Another drunken boy was told 'want to go to jail?' after he snuck up on a police horse and touched its backside for a dare.
Police records show that 19 people were arrested in total on Friday – most for disorderly conduct and being found with weed and cocaine – compared to 35 during the preceding week as a whole.
By 6pm on Saturday, another 12 had been hauled off to jail – the majority for possessing cannabis or cocaine, with prescription drugs also noted by police.
Spring break forever: Revelers found ways around the no alcohol policy, hiding tequila and other spirits inside water guns. One bikini-clad blonde is seen taking a shot from a water pistol
College: Revelers hold up their red plastic cups and bagged wine
Mike Cascio, Chelsea Nielsen, and Meghan Booski share a giant fishbowl on the sand despite the fact that there is no alcohol consumption permitted on Las Olas beach
Party over here: Crowds got even more rowdy when they blasted music on the beach. 'One of them will get out a boom box and they all crowd round it,' a cop said
The majority of kids are busted for possessing cannabis or cocaine, with prescription drugs also noted by police. Above two girls pose for a picture
Students Madison Kaleward (middle) and Montana Rial (left dance in front of their audience on the Fort Lauderdale beach
Major Dana Swisher, 45, oversees the annual Spring Break policing operation in Fort Lauderdale and told DailyMail.com that he spends much of March fielding complaints from disgruntled locals.
'We obviously get some complaints, even though it happens every year,' he said. 'A lot of it is misinformation – they didn't realize that street was going to be closed and stuff like that.'
Planning the policing operation took months, he added, and has meant switching officers from the detective bureau to patrol for some of March to ensure the beach is always covered.
Other measures include putting French barriers along the A1A road that runs alongside Las Olas Beach to funnel students into crosswalks and staggering shifts so the police presence is heaviest at 5pm when the Spring Breakers leave the beach.
He told DailyMail.com: 'We're looking for compliance, we're looking to provide somewhat of an orderly environment for them to enjoy themselves in.
'The thing that is always the catalyst to create issues is alcohol – alcohol is always a big issue when you have a lot of college kids together.
'We don't allow alcohol on the beach. The kids can go to local establishments and they can buy alcohol and consume alcohol in there but we do not allow alcohol on the beach.'
Nevertheless, on Saturday and Sunday, most of the students partying on the beach did have alcohol with them – some of it concealed in plastic water bottles and the rest drunk openly.
Police were seen making occasional forays onto the beach to confiscate the booze; pouring it out on the sand and dumping the containers.
Busted: On Friday alone, DailyMail.com witnessed eight incidents in which kids were hauled off the beach or cited for drug and alcohol possession within the space of 30 minutes
Students are often arrested for misdemeanor offenses such as being drunk and fighting, a police officer told DailyMail.com. Above one woman is seen being taken away in handcuffs
Police were seen making occasional forays onto the beach to confiscate the booze; pouring it out on the sand and dumping the containers. Pictured: A cop searches a woman's backpack for illicit items (left) while another woman is taken away in handcuffs (right)
Mounted police patrolled the area this weekend, but the high presence of cops did not stop students from indulging in drinking and doing drugs
Spring breakers ignored the signs outside Las Olas that clearly banned alcohol on the beach
One drunken boy was asked 'want to go to jail?' after he snuck up on a police horse and touched its backside for a dare
A mounted police unit was seen charging into the crowd after an empty can was thrown at one of the horses
Horses were used to break up fights, with officers seen dragging miscreants off the beach on 11 occasions in just two hours on Saturday afternoon alone.Read More...