While the beaches in Gulf Shores may be empty now, Police and Beach Rescue are already preparing for when the heat and crowds turn up.

Those crowds are expected to be larger than usual as many spring breakers push east while the Florida coast recovers from Hurricane Michael.

"Its certainly on our minds, that subject has been brought up more than once. We will be ready for spring break," said Sgt. Jason Woodruff with the Gulf Shores Police Department.

Gulf Shores Beach Rescue is already training lifeguards for the summer months, while police say they plan on upping patrol and bringing in Baldwin County Sheriff's Deputies for backup.

But, the greatest tool for law enforcement during spring break-- the city's alcohol ban.

"Its absolutely paid off, I think its just helped in preventing a lot of problems," said Woodruff.

This year marks the fourth year for the ban of alcohol on city beaches during spring break.

Police say its already served the purpose of helping get underage drinkers under control.

"The fact that we've seen fewer of those really large crowds has certainly freed up officers to be available for other calls, traffic complaints, things of that nature," said Sgt. Woodruff.

Gulf Shores Beach Rescue says its also helped keep their lifeguards and other beach goers safety forcing swimmers to stay sober.

"The water is working against you the entire time, so if you've been drinking a lot of alcohol, its just like driving a car. Your reflexes are slowed down, your thought capacity is slowed down," said Lt. Melvin Shepard with Gulf Shores Beach Rescue.

Officials say while they want Spring Breakers to have fun, their biggest piece of advice:a little common sense will go a long way.

This year's alcohol ban begins March 2 and lasts through April 28.

The 58 day ban is the longest ever for the city, but is set based on holiday and school schedules across the region.

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