In 2016, crackdowns on Spring Break partying, by young people, in the Florida Panhandle, led to many choosing to flock to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, in Baldwin County, Alabama, near the port city of Mobile. This year, local law enforcement officials have issued official warnings, in the local press, that young people engaging in underage drinking, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and general rowdiness, will face a zero tolerance policy. The area has long attempted to cultivate a “family friendly” atmosphere, and the local climate is no longer favorable for young people who come to the beautiful local beaches to cut loose.
Many of us have fond memories of our own younger days, and our forays into the adult world of getting intoxicated and chasing members of the opposite sex, at “The Beach”, where the normal rules of behavior did not seem to apply. Unfortunately, what used to be viewed as just kids being kids, is now behavior that will get one arrested. In fairness to the local authorities, in each of the last several years there have been deaths caused by overconsumption of alcohol, DUI crashes, intoxicated youngsters falling from hotel balconies, etc.
As a longtime criminal defense attorney, each year I represent a number of young people, often from out of state, who have managed to get themselves arrested. Sometimes it is their own fault, for doing stupid stuff. Sometimes they are just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or get swept up in a mass arrest at a party where underage persons are drinking. Usually, assuming that my client has an otherwise clean criminal history, these cases can be resolved, without the prospect of jail time. In many cases, a criminal conviction can be avoided by applying for Youthful Offender Status, or deferred prosecution. If you, or a member of your family, is arrested at Spring Break in Alabama, feel free to contact me , for a free consultation.