SHALIMAR — The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has reportedly made 337 arrests and issued 220 notices to appear for underage possession of alcohol.
Deputies targeted youths in possession of alcohol, tobacco or synthetic drugs, and businesses selling these substances, from March 4 to April 11 during the Florida Sheriffs Task Force’s Operation Dry Spring. The initiative coincided with spring break, when many youths experiment with drugs and alcohol.
"A successful spring break is when young people can come to our beaches and have a good time while staying safe,” OCSO Sheriff Larry Ashley said. “Pushing the limits can cause serious consequences, and I’m happy to report that, from a law enforcement perspective, we had a successful spring break with no serious injuries or major criminal incidents."
In 2010, nearly 190,000 individuals under age 21 visited an emergency room for conditions connected with underage drinking, according to the sheriff’s office.
The use of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and spice has risen, with more than 7,000 reported incidents in 2011, contrasted with 3,000 in 2010.