Traveling to Miami: Here Are the Legal Need to Knows

By  | 

Whether its for spring break, summer vacation, or anything in between, Florida remains a top destination for vacationers in the U.S. Miami is perhaps one of the most frequented cities for this reason. Miami is a great city to vacation in for twenty somethings: not only are there beaches, but Miami boasts one of the best night life scenes in the country. It’s no surprise that the city attracts a variety of people. But whether you are planning a trip to Miami or even considering a move to this Florida city, it’s important to know what laws are on the books in order to have a fun but safe time there.

Drinking Laws

When you’re going to Florida to vacation and you’re 21 or older, odds are you would be interested in consuming alcoholic beverages. Here are some things you might want to know about Miami’s alcohol policy:

  • There is an open container law on the books. Miami maybe a party town, but it certainly isn’t NOLA. Getting caught with an open container could result in a fine of 50 dollars. According to the Miami News Times, this regulation isn’t very heavily enforced. But unless you want to lose some money, it’s better to finish up that drink inside.
  • Purchasing alcohol: In most counties of Florida, the sale of alcohol on Sunday is prohibited. However, in Miami-Dade county, liquor stores are allowed to remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can therefore buy alcohol at any time if you are of age, but stay safe!

The Beach

Miami is famous for its coastline, and a visit to Miami isn’t complete without spending some time relaxing by the ocean. Here are some important things you should know about the use of Miami’s beaches:

  • The beach does close. Miami Beach is closed from 12 AM to 5 AM. And this law will be enforced. So if you were planning on taking a dip in the middle of the night, you’d better make other arrangements.
  • There are also specific hours when a life guard is on duty. Miami beaches’ hours happen to be from 9:30AM to 6PM. While the beach is open during times when no lifeguard is present, it is highly advised that beach goers swim when a lifeguard is on duty.
  • It should also be known that cans of any kind, alcoholic or otherwise, are prohibited on the beach. Styrofoam containers are also unlawful to have with you while on the beach. The Miami News Times noted that individual had been given a fifty dollar fine for the possession of a Diet Coke can and a styrofoam container while on the beach, so this law is enforced. It may seem more economical to bring your own snacks and beverages to the beach, but treat yourself to a lunch in a cafe instead.


Moving to the area and have a pet or looking to get one? Make sure you don’t violate these rules:

  • In Miami Dade County, pets must not be chained or tethered outside without you present. This means you can’t keep your dog tied to a pole while you eat lunch in a restaurant. So if you’re running errands or meeting friends for a meal, keep Fido at home.
  • Dogs have to wear tags at all times and must be registered yearly.
  • You cannot take your pet on a bus or train without the animal being kept in a cage or carrier.

Florida State-Wide Laws

Miami residents and visitors should also respect state-wide laws. Miami-goers should be considerate of these laws as well, including:

  • No texting while driving. A new law took effect in October that outlaws texting while operating a vehicle, making Florida the 41st state with this law on the books.
  • Concealed weapons: Florida is a unique state in that it allows concealed weapons to be carried with a license. This isn’t to say that you should go to Florida to carry around a gun for fun, but rather it’s a warning to stay extra careful.

There are many other laws to take note of while traveling or moving to Miami, Florida, but this is a starting guide. Miami is a great city, and knowing the laws of the city and state of Florida can help you to have a fun and risk-free visit.

[Miami News Times] [Legal Beer] [Miami Beach] [Miami Dade] [Miami Herald]

Sarah Helden (@shelden430)

Featured Image Courtesy of [Marc Averette via Wikipedia]

Sarah Helden
Sarah Helden is a graduate of The George Washington University and a student at the London School of Economics. She was formerly an intern at Law Street Media. Contact Sarah at



Send this to friend