Spring break is winding down for many of Alabama’s students, and so is the patience of more coastal towns that host the annual party event.
Officials are correct in repeatedly stating that safety should be the priority, and they warn that traffic issues this weekend could create additional concerns. Thousands of students and vacationers will be making the trek home.
Thus, please consider this a reminder to drive with care this weekend.
Abusing the right to drink alcohol on the beaches and drunk driving remain the traditional nemesis at the root of the worst problems the spring break party creates.
Today’s Page 1 story points out Alabama’s gulf towns such as Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are to the point that they may consider a temporary alcohol ban much like what Panama City Beach, Florida, implemented this spring.
It’s hard to blame them.
When they have to break up rowdy crowds that are hundreds strong, put 112 spring breakers in a jail with only 23 beds, or when the trash situation is so bad that culprits brag about it on social media, it’s a problem.
Those issues don’t take into account the primary concern, which again is safety.
Spring break is a fun tradition for college and high school students, and it shouldn’t be outlawed. Abusing a good thing, however, is a sure way to contribute toward losing it.
It’s commendable that there are groups of students seeing that and acting to address some of the issues, such as the fraternities that are assisting city workers in picking up fields of trash in beach areas. Other groups have turned spring break sites into fertile grounds for missionary trips.
Meanwhile, families still dominate the business interests most.
“We pride ourselves of being a family destination,” the Gulf Shores mayor said. “This activity does not lend support to that,” he said of the alcohol-related abuses.
It’ll be interesting to see where the future of spring break goes as the political tides continue to shift, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise if major changes such as alcohol bans hit Alabama’s beaches next spring.
The abuses add up.