DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Volusia County beach officials are offering spring breakers a break if they are caught drinking on the beach.
Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue Capt. Tammy Marris said Friday that spring breakers can avoid a citation or an arrest in some cases if they agree to fill a large bag full of trash that was left on the beach.
Marris told News 6 on Monday that it's not known exactly how many violators have accepted the offer.
Marris said there have been 56 arrests for alcohol violations from March 4 to Friday.
"I know it's not allowed, but I'm pretty sure that half the people on the beach are drinking 24/7 every day," said spring breaker Mina Samalya, a college student from Indiana. "I love it. It's a little crazy, but it's fun."
"Beer pong or flippy cup. They actually bring tables out on the beach. It's crazy," said Rachael Dobson, a student from Indiana.
The beaches have been packed with families and college students, which means all hands on deck for lifeguards and police, who said they've been busy catching underage drinkers and others with alcohol on the beach.
"We're seeing lots of alcohol consumption, and we want people to know that it is illegal to drink on the beach. You can not have it in any type of container," Marris said.
Overcrowded beaches also means more trash that's left behind.
"A lot of trash. Beer cans, food, stuff. Yeah, it was kind of messy, but then, miraculously, it's all cleaned up," Samalya said.
"First thing in the morning is when we're seeing the trash. It hasn't been as bad as the last couple of days. So, hopefully, keep your fingers crossed, they've got the message and they're picking up after themselves," Marris said.