DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood on Thursday gave a press conference announcing that special event zones would be laid out ahead of an upcoming unsanctioned truck event expected to bring havoc to Daytona this weekend.
A special event zone is an area laid out over a designated time period where law enforcement has amplified power to issue fines and citations for noncriminal or criminal traffic violations. They're part of a recently passed state law designed to crack down on unsanctioned events which cause headaches to local municipalities and law enforcement.
The zone encompasses Daytona Beach and Daytona Beach Shores, and those who are found in violation will stand to see their vehicles towed and impounded for a potential 72 hours.
Last year's Truck Meet will not soon escape the memories of Volusia County residents. The event caused mass rowdiness, noise, and cleanup, infamously cost the Daytona Beach Police Department $178,000 in overtime pay. This weekend's truck event is not supposed to be a formal successor to Truck Meet 2021 - those organizers took that event to the Miami metro area after the community backlash. But nevertheless there are organizers promoting an unsanctioned truck event, and Sheriff Chitwood is on high alert over it.
“If you think you’re going to come here and act the fool, we’re coming after you,” Chitwood said at Thursday's press conference. “If you have an event, it has to be permitted. It’s not fair to the residents. If you’re coming here to follow the law, great. We want you here.”
The Volusia Sheriff's Office notified the organizers that there will be zero tolerance of illegal activities this weekend, but has not yet received a response. The truck event is slated to take place from Friday through to the end of the weekend, and the special event zone will be lifted at its completion.
Chitwood was joined at the press conference by Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young, Volusia Beach Safety Director Andrew Ethridge, and Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Director Stephan Dembinsky, all of whom reiterated the need to crack down after last year's events.