Spring break laws lifted as April kicks off

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - During the month of March, drinking alcoholic beverages on the sandy beaches and in public parking lots was prohibited.

Also prohibited were alcohol sales at bars and restaurants after two a.m., but now that April has kicked off, those laws, among others, have been lifted.

"We live here so it's like, we can actually enjoy ourselves now and don't have to worry about getting in trouble," Bay County local, Justina Gainer said.

"I'm actually excited that it is April, that we all get to have fun and drink on the beach again and I like when the clubs close at four o-clock," Panama City Beach local, Sherman Thomas said.

Others say they enjoyed the peace and quiet that came with the laws.

"Three years ago, four years ago, five years ago, it was a zoo in front of the main Holiday Inn. You could not walk," Rudy Pasch, visiting from Richmond Hill, Canada, said.

Pasch and his wife who have been visiting Panama City Beach for more than 30 years says having the laws in place is for the better. "Now it's so much better, many more families, more peaceful and in a few more years it should be better than it has ever been," they added.

Some locals say enforcing the laws just in the month of March isn't fair.

"Spring break actually goes into April so the ones here in March get to suffer, but the ones in April, it's still spring break so you get to still drink," Thomas said.

Others say whether it's March or April, spring break in Panama City Beach is no more.

"It's not even spring break anymore, everyone went to Miami this year just because of the no drinking on the beach law," Gainer said.

All who we spoke to say Panama City Beach is becoming more family-oriented.