With Spring Break crowds close at hand, local officials are encouraging visitors to come and enjoy themselves in South Walton, but to note that illegal behavior will not be tolerated.
With some violent and disturbing Spring Break incidents in nearby Panama City Beach last year, officials there have banned alcohol consumption on all beaches. Walton officials are working to pre-empt any similar issues in the South Walton area.
In Seaside, where many young people have gathered in the evenings in recent years, officials will limit beach access after 9 p.m. to adults over 21 or youth accompanied by a parent.
No backpacks or flags will be allowed on the beach in Seaside, either.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office will be strict with underage drinking, as they have been in recent years, including arresting over 100 youth at one rowdy house party.
“This year we want to encourage those visiting Walton County to do so responsibly and to have a good time,” said Walton County Sheriff Adkinson, in a letter addressed to college students.
“However, if you possess alcohol while under the age of 21 or violate any other Florida law during your visit, you will be arrested and taken to jail.”
Adkinson noted the jail is located about 40 miles from the coast in DeFuniak Springs and all those arrested will be transported to the jail and booked and must arrange for transportation back south upon release. “The entire process could make for a very long day,” he said.