The big party starts tonight in South Beach, and local police are determined to keep drunk drivers out. (Makes sense, no?)
With Urban Beach Week beginning in earnest this evening, local police will implement a DUI checkpoint on the eastbound MacArthur Causeway beginning at 8. A team of at least 15 to 20 cops will use cones and a "chute" method to block off sets of 20 cars at a time and inspect drivers for consumption. The idea, obviously, is to stop drunk drivers before they even arrive on the Beach and cause all kinds of problems.
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Miami Beach police spokesman Bobby Hernandez said the checks will be random, but offered a stern warning to anyone thinking of drinking before driving to the Beach: "If you're driving under the influence and you're coming to Miami Beach," he said, "you are going to jail. So take a cab."
The checkpoint lasts until 6 a.m. and will be in place only tonight, although license plate readers will be placed on all causeways for the duration of the weekend. A traffic loop in South Beach will also be in effect, as well as a greatly increased police presence.