Fort Lauderdale Law Enforcement Officials Call "Operation Dry Spring" an Unprecedented Success
Looks like the Florida Sheriffs Task Force's crackdown on underaged drinking during spring break was a success.
And by success, we mean craploads of arrests were made, drugs were seized, and fewer visits to the emergency room were made by underaged kids who had been iced one too many times by their bros.
"Operation Dry Spring," a five-week operation Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Sheriffs Task Force conducted from March 4 through April 7, resulted in 5,016 arrests across 37 counties.
Specifically, the operation's target was to keep kids from getting their hands on booze, smokes, and synthetic drugs. It was also aimed at keeping local businesses honest by preventing them from selling alcohol to kids under 21.
And since spring break is the best time for these things to go down, the operation was launched at the heart of it all.
According to the Walton County Sheriff's Office, there were 1,008 arrests made for alcohol possession by a person under 21 years of age. The Escambia County Sheriff's Office reports that 9,300 grams of synthetic narcotics were seized.
The operation was deemed a success, especially in light of tragedies and hospital visits made in the past few years.
In 2010, nearly 190,000 underaged kids were taken to an emergency room for injuries or conditions connected to drinking. The use of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and spice is on the rise, with more than 7,000 reported incidents in 2011, compared to some 3,000 in 2010.
Operation Dry Spring saw 18,588 grams of various illegal narcotics seized by sheriffs' offices across South Florida, according to Polk County Sheriff and Task Force Chair Grady Judd.
"The Florida Sheriffs Task Force was able to conduct 4,173 business checks to ensure the sale of alcohol, tobacco and synthetic drugs to underage youth is not taking place at local businesses," said FSA President and Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton. "Cutting off the supply chain of these substances to our youth is extremely important in keeping them safe from the dangers of drugs and alcohol."