Spring Break Booze Biz Off In PCB

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Panama City Beach businesses say new laws aimed at cutting down excess drinking among spring breakers have cost them customers.

The Panama City News Herald reports that businesses say sales have dropped 50 to 80 percent over the same period last year.

Drinking alcohol on the beach is now banned during spring break and clubs are forced to close earlier, among other new local laws.

Law enforcement presence also has increased at party spots.

That’s driving spring breakers elsewhere and forcing business to lay off employees, which further hurts the economy.

The new regulations were prompted by a series of problems that included three men charged with alleged sexual assault on a crowded beach and a shooting at a spring break house party last year.