Gulf Shores bans alcohol on its beaches through April 17, covering spring break for Louisiana colleges _lowres

In this May 13, 2015, file photo, Demarkis Mosley, left, and his wife, Alexandria, of Starkville, Miss., play in the sand on their vacation in Gulf Shores, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Louisiana college students headed to the beach for spring break, take note: The Gulf Shores, Alabama, City Council has banned the consumption of alcohol on all its public beaches through April 17.

The City Council, during a special session Friday, made the decision to ban alcohol on its local beaches, effective immediately, WALA-TV reported. Anyone caught in violation can be fined up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail.

Bradley Guin, an LSU student who earned his undergraduate degree in December and is attending LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center in the fall, told The Advocate he has gone to Gulf Shores for spring break the past three years.

Guin said he had plans to go again this year but changed them at the last minute, in part to avoid the crowd.

“I can somewhat understand where the city is coming from,” Guin said. “Obviously Gulf Shores is a popular destination, especially for LSU students, but, at the same time, it’s going to put a hamper on a lot of people’s spring breaks since a lot of people go to drink there on the beach.”

Guin said the City Council’s timing could have been better.

“A lot of people have already paid their deposits,” Guin said. “It kind of seems like a knee-jerk reaction. I’m sure a lot of people aren’t going to be happy, expecting to be able to go to the beach to enjoy themselves.”

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said the city “has a responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents and visitors and an obligation to protect the reputation of the city as a family-friendly destination.”

The ban forbids anyone from possessing or drinking alcohol on any part of the beach south of protected sand dunes within the Gulf Shores city limits, WALA reports.

The ban will be in effect for the entirety of most universities’ spring breaks, including LSU, which has spring break scheduled for March 20-27; Southern University, March 21-28; Tulane University, March 20-28; Loyola, March 21-28; the University of New Orleans, March 23-29; and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, March 25 through April 3.