Miami Beach Officials Say No to Booze in the Sands

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The days of tropical cocktails served on the sands of Miami Beach are being challenged. In a move that has local hoteliers scratching their heads, the city's attorney's office said this week oceanfront hotels are not allowed to sell drinks on the beach.

The Miami Herald is reporting that City Attorney Jose Smith reviewed the city's rules, and found that selling of booze on the beach is illegal. This, despite the fact that most hotels on Miami Beach, including the section known as South Beach, regularly serve their customers on the beach.

"Why they haven't been cited, I don't know," Smith told the paper.

The city's attorneys office began looking at beach liquor sales last month following hundreds of complaints of littering and drinking during this year's spring break. The city's drinking laws ban consumption and sales of alcohol in public places.

Don't expect a ban at the hotels, though, David Kelsey, president of the South Beach Hotel & Restaurant Association, told AOL Travel. More likely, hotels will be required to get permits for beach liquor sales in the future. He said one city commissioner is already at work on a proposal for such permits.

Kelsey said hotels that serve alcohol to customers on the beach include such well-known properties as the Loews, Ritz-Carlton and Delano, and it's a popular offering with travelers.

"Hotels have had drink service on the beach forever, and it's never been an issue. The servers themselves monitor and see who the drink goes to. So there would not be trashing of the beach from bottles and glasses left around," Kelsey said.

Meanwhile, for the Memorial Day Weekend, Kelsey said hotels expect to operate service as usual, but he said police enforcement against others drinking alcohol on the beach is likely..
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