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Miami Beach mayor proposes alcohol, noise policy changes for Ocean Drive

In an effort to curtail violence

The bright neon lights of Ocean Drive hotels in South Beach
Ocean Drive in Miami Beach
via Leonardo Da Silva/Flickr

“What we need to do as a city is to reform and clean up Ocean Drive,” announced Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine during an emergency press conference held Tuesday morning in wake of more Memorial Day weekend violence in South Beach.

The weekend’s brutality in South Beach included two shootings that left two dead (one was a police officer) over a parking dispute and a stabbing.

The mayor’s proposed changes relate to alcohol and noise, with Levine calling for alcohol sales to be cut off at 2 a.m. (from 5 a.m.) and to remove an eastbound noise exemption along Ocean Drive. He clarified the focus is not merely on Memorial Day but 365 days a year, and how they are not seeking to limit anyone from enjoying the historic area.

Of the deadly South Beach violence emanating from the Ocean Drive vicinity, which has been a common theme over Memorial Day weekend but has been cleaned up some in recent years, Levine talked of wanting the area to be more family friendly, pointing to Coconut Grove as a model.

“We're going to continue to take aggressive actions to solve this problem,” Levine said, alongside City Manager Jimmy Morales and Police Chief Daniel Oates. “Ocean Drive is attracting a bad clientele of folks that want to party all night and disrespect our city.”

“The message needs to be heard loud and clear,” added Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco. “We are no longer going to tolerate this type of behavior. This is not a black or white issue. It’s a right or wrong issue.”

This isn’t the first time Levine has called for limiting alcohol sales on Ocean Drive. And similar to last summer’s urging, Mango’s owner David Wallack voiced a loud protest during today’s press conference as well. Mango’s is off 9th Street and Ocean Drive and closes at 5 a.m. of course.

You can watch the entire presser below.