Nobody plans to spend part of their spring break in jail. Unfortunately, the jubilant atmosphere around Daytona Beach during spring break and the influx of young tourists from all over the country can lead to an “anything goes” type of atmosphere–until the police show up and start making arrests.
In 2016, the number of spring breakers in Volusia County spiked to record highs, bringing more students in than had been seen in at least five years. It also brought a huge wave of arrests–a 327 percent overall increase from the previous year.
Officers tend to focus on keeping the beaches safe and friendly for everyone. New laws aimed at keeping alcohol off the beaches have already driven spring breakers away from hot spots like Panama City Beach, but they aren’t finding the reception much better in Daytona.
That’s something that many spring breakers may not expect, which may be why the arrests by Beach Safety jumped 74 percent and the arrests by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco jumped an incredible 600 percent in the same time period.
Take some advice on how to stay out of jail when you’re a tourist at the beach:
— Comply with any officer’s request promptly and respectfully. Police officers are human, and you don’t want to get into a contest of will that you’re bound to lose.
— If you’re questioned about a potentially illegal offense, do not lie to the officer about your identity. That can often be a more serious offense than whatever you were about to get a ticket for in the first place.
— Similarly, don’t run from the police. Trying to evade arrest will absolutely get you arrested–stopping may just result in a few questions or a warning.
— Never consent to a search. If an officer asks for a peek inside your bag, pockets or car, politely decline. If the officer is asking, he or she doesn’t have enough probable cause to execute the search without your consent. If you agree to the search, however, you’re waiving your rights and leaving yourself without a defense.
Finally, it never hurts to have the name and phone number of a local attorney who can represent you on hand, just in case you are arrested. For more information on how we might be able to help with your criminal defense case, please visit our page.