Seaside implements curfew during spring break

Published: Mar. 30, 2017 at 6:04 PM CDT
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Spring break is generally a time for students to have fun and take their minds off school, but sometimes that fun can get out of hand.

Now, one local town is taking a strict approach in hopes of curbing some of the issues they're seeing.

"We found that at times during spring break students would congregate on the beach and there might be 600 kids," Seaside Director of Public Relations and Marketing Lori Smith said.

But when the sun goes down, one beach community said it's harder to monitor what these teens and young adults are doing, especially drinking underage.

For the second year, Seaside has put a curfew in place, restricting this group of young people from wandering alone throughout the town.

Signs posted state that after 8:00 at night, anyone under the age of 21 must have parental supervision.

"There was a security guard walking around telling people that if they were under 18 years old they had to leave," said 17-year-old Hayden Weeks.

Last year they set the curfew at 9 p.m., but this year officials say they bumped it up to 8 o'clock.

"8:00 is about the time it starts getting dark. It takes us about and hour, hour and a half to actually finish the process of just asking folks to head on back," Smith said.

Some of the visiting teen said the curfew is putting a damper on their vacation.

"I guess the curfew isn't really the way to solve that cause I mean the things that kids would be doing at like 8 is not different than what they would be doing at 5," one visiting teen, Gram Denning, said.

"I think it is a good idea because a lot of bad things happen like drinking and stuff like that later at night but I think 8 is definitely too early," Weeks said.

"Its kind of annoying because it so early," Nelson Fields, who is also visiting, said.

"Nothing fun really happens before 8 p.m.," Weeks said.

Seaside officials said the Walton County Sheriff's Office has noticed a drop in arrests since the curfew was first put in place.

The curfew ends when spring break ends.