Bay County Court Officials Preparing for Spring Break Court

PANAMA CITY- You can't put thousands of college students on a Florida beach for a week at a time, and not have a few of them find some mischief.

"The majority of our tickets are underage drinking, disorderly conduct, things of that nature," said Jody Walls, Bay County Clerk of Courts.

Bay County officials have printed hundreds of these yellow notices for police to hand-out to spring breakers along with citations.

The flier informs students they have an option to pay the fine or take part in this State Attorney's Office Diversion Program, better known as Spring Break Court.

Under the program, offenders must complete an online course, pay a $200 fine, and perform 8 hours of community service work or pay another $80.

It keeps them from having to return to bay county weeks later for a regular court date.

Court officials are conducting spring break court at the Majestic Beach Resort on Front Beach Road.

They’ve extended the dates to run from March 6th through Easter Sunday.

"We didn't get any additional funding for this, but it actually saves the court time and money, because we were having huge dockets in the court house with 400 kids, in the docket. So by being.Talking to them all at one time, with all the agencies there together, it’s better for all of us," said Walls.

793 kids passed through spring break court last year.

Beach police made 539 alcohol related arrests and 154 drug arrests.

"We work well with the sheriff's office with their drug test units so we do have undercover out there looking for drug problems and we do make several arrests during spring break with drugs," said Drew Whitman, Panama City Beach Police Chief.


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