What's Really Illegal on Miami Beach? Running Down the Law on Cans, Bottles, and Straws
For those of us with any semblance of common sense, there are certain things we know we shouldn't do in public: take drugs, have sex, streak. Polite society isn't into that stuff. Though Miami Beach might seem like it's a lot more liberal than most public places, those rules still apply -- among other regulations that might not be quite so obvious. If you want to avoid the unpleasantness of citations, it's important to be educated on those pesky things called laws.
A couple of months ago on South Beach, some friends and I were cited for possession of aluminum cans -- an item we were unaware was illegal. So, to follow up, we spoke with the Miami Beach Police Department for the skinny on what you can and cannot take onto the sand. Find out what we learned after the jump.
See also: Busted on South Beach for Diet Coke
Turns out Miami Beach police and code compliance are two separate departments. They work together in some respects, but generally they each do their own thing. Which means you could be cited by one or both.
According to MBPD spokesman Sgt. Bobby Hernandez, code compliance proactively enforces beach rules year-round (by handing out citations and such), while the police actively do so only during spring break -- which lasts a whopping 12 weeks in our neck of the woods. It begins in February and ends in May, so that's the time you should be extra-cautious.
Though there are no citation quotas, the city does beef up patrol during those periods, says City of Miami Beach spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez.
"No quotas. Our goal is compliance," she says.
As for a full rundown of what Beach officers might cite you for on the sand, Officer Hernandez referred me to the posted signage at the beachfront (see below). Yet when I mentioned receiving a citation for aluminum cans (an item not marked on the sign), he was surprised to hear about it.
In other words, you're not likely to get a soda-can citation from a police officer. But make no bones about it, metal is indeed illegal per city code.