Spring break laws taking effect March 1st

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Panama City Beach continues on its path of changing the once wild spring break atmosphere that took over the town every March.

"Starting in the spring, we've engaged some rules that help protect having a calmer spring break," said Panama City Beach City Manager Mario Gisbert.

Including banning alcohol on the sandy beach.

"That rule has been in effect going on three years. It's really worked out well on calming the spring break party side of it, and it's kept us safer," said Gisbert.

Locals say they're seeing a different type of crowd since the laws were enacted.

"Well, I have seen a decrease in certain activities in the area, you see a lot more happier people and a lot less arguing on the beach," said Panama City Beach Resident Henry Brigmond.

And it becomes illegal when you step right out on to those white sandy beaches with a drink in your hand.

"You can still have alcohol on controlled spaces. On the beach there are still patio decks, there are still pool decks, you can still have alcohol on that section of the beach," said Gisbert.

Some local businesses are making sure visitors and residents know the laws.

"We do offer to-go drinks, which would be a virgin daiquiri with alcohol sealed on the side and then they can mix it off the premises, as far as going back to the condo or the pool, but we tell them on the white sandy beach there's no alcohol allowed whatsoever," said Pineapple Willy's Manager Jeremy Evans.

And after Hurricane Michael, businesses don't know what kind of crowd to expect this year.

"I think it's a big unknown, you know, you have with the condo situations a lot of people still living there, you have a lot of construction workers there," said Evans.

But some locals believe the storm will bring in more people than ever, who will have no problem with the toned down atmosphere.

"It's gonna be a little less of the crazy crowd, I guess you can say, but there's still a lot of people that are gonna come out here," said Brigmond.

Also during March, alcohol sales are banned after 2 a.m. and scooters cannot be on the roads at night.