Booze will continue flowing until 5 a.m. on Ocean Drive after Miami Beach voters rejected a proposal to restrict alcohol sales to 2 a.m. on the popular tourist strip.
Patrons of popular late night party spots such as Mango’s Tropical Café and The Clevelander can drink and party until the predawn hours.
About 64 percent of Miami Beach residents voted against the rollback of alcohol sales to 2 a.m., while 35 percent were in favor of the measure. In all, 11,836 residents voted on the issue.
City officials had put the proposed alcohol ban to vote in light of recent high profile crimes including a fatal shooting over a parking spot in South Beach during Memorial Day Weekend.
City commissioners also voted Oct. 18 to close the beach east of the sand dunes at 10 p.m. instead of midnight to reduce violent crimes on the beach and to protect sea turtles.
Leading up to Tuesday’s vote, Ocean Drive business owners and residents against the 2 a.m. last call protested with signs outside Miami Beach City Hall, saying the measure would hurt businesses and Ocean Drive’s party atmosphere.
Mayor Philip Levine had been a vocal supporter of restricting alcohol sales to 2 a.m.
In a statement released Tuesday night, the outgoing mayor said “Tonight, the residents have spoken, and while the measure didn't pass, they were given an opportunity to be active in the decision-making process.”
He added, “I thank my colleagues for giving the voters an opportunity to weigh in, as I believe the work to keep Ocean Drive safe continues as the new commission takes office," Levine said. "My commitment from day one was focused on giving residents a voice, and through this referendum, we did just that."