Spring break is a fun time to get away from lectures, assignments and exams. Some Florida students use this welcome downtime to vacation and party. In fact, some of the most popular spots for spring breakers are in Florida, including Miami Beach, Panama City Beach and Key West.
But spring break is not always fun and games. These destinations often see an uptick in criminal activity during this time. Here is an analysis of some of the most common spring break crimes.
1. Driving under the influence
According to a survey of 889 students on spring break, 10 percent operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The findings of alcoholic use on spring break are daunting:
- 26 percent passed out from drinking too much
- 6 percent suffered alcohol poisoning
- 5 percent got hurt or were hospitalized due to consuming alcohol or drugs
Convictions for DUI charges come with revocation of licenses, costly fines and potential jail time.
2. Minor in possession
Underage use or possession of alcoholic beverages is a misdemeanor. According to the same survey, minors consuming alcohol on spring break is common. Over 25 percent of underage spring breakers consumed four-to-seven drinks daily.
3. Public intoxication
It is unlawful in Florida to drink alcohol in public–-period. But the law goes even further. It is more serious if drunkenness causes an individual to be a risk to him- or herself, other people or property.
4. Drug possession
Approximately 30 percent of spring breakers use illicit drugs, including marijuana, MDMA and cocaine. Drug possession charges can result in harsh criminal consequences, even for minors.
5. Disorderly conduct
Another common spring break offense is breaching the peace or partaking in disorderly conduct. This includes behaviors like:
- Engaging in fighting
- Making unreasonable noise
- Inciting a riot
- Using abusive or obscene language
A disorderly conduct charge on its own can lead to jail time and fines, but it often comes with other related charges.