Panama City Beach Florida Spring Break Ordinances

The Panama City Beach City Council (PCBCC) and the Bay County Council have made significant changes in the Spring Break ordinances that will apply to residents, tourists, and visitors to the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches. Some of the ordinances are limited to the time period from March 1 to March 31, 2016. Some of the ordinances are valid year round.

The Panama City Beach City Council (PCBCC) has decided that alcoholic beverages will stop being served after 2 AM during the month of March, 2016. Any establishment licensed by the State of Florida to sell or serve alcoholic beverages will not be allowed to sell or serve or allow alcoholic beverages to be consumed in the established business from the hours of 2 AM to 7 AM each day during March, 2016. The PCBCC also has ordered that alcoholic beverages are not to be possessed or consumed in commercial business parking lots within the city limits. These ordinances have allowed the option for the City Council to extend the time periods, but the focus is on regulation of possession and consumption or alcoholic beverages during the month of March, 2016. Ordinance number 1347.

The PCBCC has also passed ordinances regulating the parking of vehicles and motor vehicle traffic during Spring Break. The ordinances prohibit the parking of vehicles in unmarked or unpaved portions of the traveled right of way or scenic corridors after dark. These ordinances also provide for the removal of any offending vehicles. Ordinance number 1348 & 1349.

The PCBCC has also passed an ordinance regarding disorderly conduct regarding balconies of buildings during Spring Break. All persons are prohibited from climbing or jumping from balconies or throwing any object from balconies. All ordinances that may conflict with the new ordinance are repealed. Ordinance number 1352.

The PCBCC passed an ordinance that prohibits the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on the sandy gulf beach and gives specific definition of what is the "Sandy Gulf Beach" during Spring Break. The reasons for passing this ordinance were to prevent students who were intoxicated on the beach becoming vulnerable and subject to being preyed upon by other revelers under the influence or subject to criminal activities. Local residents also have expressed concern about binge drinking, the use of bongs, and funnels, lewd behavior, and large crowds who pose a risk of riots or criminal conduct on the beach. "Sandy Gulf Beach" means "…. all loose or uncompacted sandy areas, including sand dunes and vegetated areas, lying between the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the seaward boundary of the seaward most public vehicular boundary right of way." Ordinance number 1353.

The PCBCC has prohibited the consuming of alcoholic beverages in rights-of-way streets, avenues, public parking lots, public ponds and storm water facilities. The PCBCC has also required that all persons consuming alcoholic beverages on the sandy Gulf Beach of the Gulf of Mexico, within the City Limits, must simultaneously possessing a government issued photo to disclose their name, address, and age. Civil penalties for violation of this ordinance are fines ranging from first violation $ 150.00, second violation $ 200.00, and third or subsequent violation $ 250.00. Ordinance number 1355.

BAY COUNTY ORDINANCES

The Beaches Area Special Treatment Zone is established by Bay County Comprehensive Plan Policy 3.4.3 and identified on Map 3.2 of the Comprehensive Plan as the land and water area located between the Walton County line and the western terminus of the Hathaway Bridge, and between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico, in which zone the county may impose special regulations as considered necessary.

The Bay County Council Ordinance No. 15-24 prohibits anyone less than 21 years of age to be in any establishment serving alcoholic beverages in the Beach Area Special Treatment Zone after 12 midnight. The county ordinance makes an exception for persons under 21 years of age who are employees of the establishment, and active duty personnel with military ID, any law enforcement, fire safety, building, or health inspection personnel. Ordinance No. 15-24.

The Bay County Council Ordinance No. 15-25 prohibits the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on the beach and parking lots during Spring Break in the Beaches Area Special Treatment Zone. The ordinance also requires anyone possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages to simultaneously possess a government issued photo ID disclosing their name, address, and age. The prohibitions of consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages do not apply to any person in or on any parking lot (driveway) of a single-family residence or any person within the structure of an establishment authorized and licensed by the State Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.

In summary, if you are visiting the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches during Spring Break, be sure you have with you a lawful government issued ID at all times that has your correct name, address, and age. Whether you are wearing jeans or a bathing suit, you are required to have ID on you at all times. Avoid the building balconies totally. Enjoy the beaches, the sunshine, the restaurants, the joy rides, and the friendships. Celebrate with friends in groups or with family. Consume alcoholic beverages responsibly only in licensed establishments and NOT outside on the beach. Park your vehicle only in marked legal parking spaces and do not block traffic or fire hydrants or building entrances or exits. If your Spring Break visit requires legal assistance for you, your family, or your friends, call the law offices of STANLEY E. PEACOCK, P.A. at 850-215-2112 or contact us below.