Panama City Beach used to be The spring break capital of the US. But recent events have made rules a little bit stricter, regulations tighter, and have controlled a lot more about what’s going on. If you’re planning on spending spring break in Panama City Beach, here’s what you really need to know.
As of 2017, the city of Panama city Beach has a ban on drinking and possession of alcohol on the beach in March only. The Bay County Sheriff’s office at violations could lead to arrests. Bars must close at 2:00 AM instead of 4:00 AM in March only.
There is a ban on parking in lots of businesses that have closed after dark. There’s also a ban on parking on the Front Beach Road corridor after dark. And finally, there is a ban on consumption of alcohol beverages in commercial parking lots only during the month of March. This could be extended by resolution of the city Council however.
Existing scooter rental businesses must operate no more than 60 scooters at each location but this is not in full effect until September 5 of 2017. Overnight rentals will be banned during spring break.
There is a new law requiring scooter rental businesses to have insurance in case the writer damages another vehicle or injures another person and for the writers to wear safety vests.
In April and every other month, there is a lot of requiring the people who consume alcohol on the beach have a government issued ID on them at all times.
Any special events must go through the permitting process and provide security and EMS services. Any pop of events can be punishable by law enforcement.
This is just in the city of Panama City Beach. Bay County has additional laws. Anyone under 21 years old, military personnel excluded has outlawed anyone from entering an establishment that serves alcohol after midnight. They also have an additional ordinance that identifies activities considered a public nuisance such as public drunkenness or disorderly conduct.
Now, while this creates a more tame spring break, this is only in the month of March. There are many different spring break schedules throughout the season and many happen in April. Some of the more important things to remember are to be aware of your surroundings, be cautious of those that you’ve come with, drink responsibly and make sure that your home by about 2:00 AM.
One thing to note is that the drinking ban has been lifted for certain beach areas. Drinking alcohol on portions of Shell Island will be legal in March. It will also be legal to drink alcohol on private lots and county roads under the county’s jurisdiction in the middle of the island. There are numerous boats the take passengers to and from Shell Island as well as a shuttle from St. Andrews State Park. Those that are participating in spring break activities can shuttle an organized cruise or bring groups to and from the island with no ban on alcohol consumption.