New Florida law targets social media ‘pop-up’ events

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a measure that seeks to crack down on unsanctioned "pop-up" events put together through social media. 

Lawmakers passed the bill (HB 1435) in March, after incidents in places such as Volusia County. As lawmakers considered the bill, House sponsor Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, described it as a way to control events that have become "invasions," shutting down coastal communities.

The bill, which drew opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, will allow authorities to declare areas as "special event zones" because of unpermitted events anticipated to attract 50 or more people and disrupt traffic. The zones could blanket entire cities. 

The bill will double fines for non-criminal traffic infractions in the event zones and allow police to impound vehicles for up to 72 hours for criminal and non-criminal traffic violations. The measure also will allow local governments to impose more stringent regulations than what’s in state law about vehicle radios or other sound-making devices.