‘Free state of Florida’ cracks down on ‘pop-up’ parties
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If a Sheriff wants to shut down a party, they can now declare an area a 'special event zone,' double traffic fines and impound vehicles for three days.

Florida police have new powers to break up so-called “pop-up parties,” after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1435 Thursday evening.

The measure targets gatherings organized via social media on short notice that feature loud partying, cars that inhibit traffic, and often violence. Several episodes in the Daytona Beach area led lawmakers from the region to file the bill, and it was supported by about two dozen law enforcement agencies.

The bill passed 35-3 in the Senate with only three Democrats opposed, but the vote was 83-32 in the House, where more Democrats voted against it. Rep. Anthony Sabatini of Howey-in-the-Hills was the only Republican to vote against it.

Sheriffs can now designate an area within their jurisdiction a “special event zone” in reaction to a pop-up party. Fines for noncriminal traffic infractions within the zone are doubled, police can impound a vehicle for up to 72 hours and police can recover costs involved with enforcing the special event zone from the organizer or promoter of the event.

Opponents of the bill believe it gives police too much power, and could infringe on civil liberties. Sen. Bobby Powell, a West Palm Beach Democrat who voted against it, fretted during a committee hearing that Sheriffs could declare protests to be special events and impose penalties on protesters.

Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who voted against the bill in committee but didn’t cast a vote on the floor, noted during committee hearings that police could declare an entire city or county a special event zone.

The law, however, could’ve been even stricter. Sen. Tom Wright, a New Smyrna Beach Republican who sponsored the Senate version of the bill, attempted to amend the bill during a committee stop to require partiers who have their vehicle impounded pay the fees associated with it, even if the charges were later dropped. He withdrew the amendment, though, in the face of opposition from the panel.

Gray Rohrer


  • TJC

    May 27, 2022 at 2:44 pm

    If a bunch of right-and-white party-goers have a pop-up party to celebrate Trump’s birthday on June 14th, does that count? We all know this new law is aimed at Black people and other people of color who don’t suck the toes of DeSantis and his cronies. Free state my ass.

    • Thor is After Ya'

      May 27, 2022 at 3:06 pm

      If lightning were to hit a forest and the only person injured was a black person sitting under a tree you’d scream racism.

  • Thor is off-base

    May 27, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    Except lightning doesn’t lobby for 40% of (my city of Jacksonville’s) general fund budget to spend on – among other things – adult entertainment and various toys. Likewise, lightning hasn’t enjoyed the passage of authoritarian laws like HB1 designed to give police unconstitutional powers to police which ever protests cops elect to crush.

  • Tommy

    May 28, 2022 at 7:30 am

    If you consider this law racist stop having these swarms or parties that are solely intent on pissing off all white peoples living in area. I was in Daytona beach during one of these it was horrible occupants of motels left town traffic was grid locked beaches was full of trash fighting and gun shots everywhere. Yea this is aimed at blacks but it’s your own fault. .

  • Sick of the Bullshit

    May 28, 2022 at 8:16 am

    Yet one more clearly unconstitutional POS bill to come out of the BS Florida Legislature and Governor Goofy. Overbroad. Ex post facto.

    • Ginger

      May 28, 2022 at 9:05 am

      How much interest do you own?

  • Lizet Hampton

    May 28, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Well done! We have been dealing with these parties in my community for some time! So called “Party Houses” that are rented for the purpose of having a party and charging party goers. One of the parties resulted in a shooting and a person dead. The community was in lovkdowm while the police looked for the shooter! SHUT THEM DOWN!!!

  • It’s Complicated

    May 30, 2022 at 11:01 am

    There are reasons for this bill. For example, Tallahassee has been plagued with pop-up parties where a common theme seems to include a shootout between competing parties. The gunshot victims are generally NOT the intended targets. Not to mention that these pop-up parties are occurring on somebody’s private property, and the owner has to pay for the cleanup and may face legal liability for not taking steps to secure the property. How would you feel if 500-1000 people showed up on your private property for a party?

  • Fault

    May 30, 2022 at 11:26 am

    No the USA is not fancy free loose trafficking

Comments are closed.


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