Panama City Beach considers drinking changes for spring break

PANAMA CITY BEACH (AP) -- Florida Panhandle officials have decided not to ban alcohol on the beach during spring break, but they do want bars and clubs to close earlier during that time period.

The Panama City Beach Council on Thursday threw out a proposal to ban alcohol on the beach. However, they directed their staff to craft an ordinance to require bars and clubs to close at 2 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. during spring break. They also approved plans for additional law enforcement on the beach.

The News Herald reports that Bay County Commission and Sheriff Frank McKeithen are among the supporters recommending tightening regulations for spring break. Local business owners, though, urged the city council to continue allowing alcohol on the beach, saying they can't afford to lose college students' business.

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