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Florida County Shames Spring Breakers by School


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DeFUNIAK SPRINGS FL (970 WFLA) -- Arrive on vacation, leave on probation. 

If someone you know who's under 21 heads for the beaches of Walton County in the Florida Panhandle, and breaks out the booze, not only will they be arrested and driven more than 40 miles to the county jail, they'll get their schools shamed on Twitter. 

The Walton County Sheriff's Office has been sending out arrest numbers for underage drinking on social media... broken down by university. 

So far, the Southeastern Conference has been leading this dubious alternative version of March Madness. Four out of the top five colleges on the arrest list are in the SEC. Mississippi State led the pack late last week with a dozen arrests, followed by Ole Miss at 8. Needless to say, students and alumni of both rival schools are trading insults, which is part of the idea, according to Corey Dobridnia. She's the public information officer for the Walton County Sheriff's Office who's behind the social media campaign. 

"It has caused a little bit of a rivalry... some of it is in good fun, but some of it is to inform and to say this isn't what you want your schols to be leading in," Dobridnia said. She's a former TV news reporter who came up with the idea after seeing how news media are using social media to connect to younger audiences. 

"If it keeps one girl... from being sexually battered, or it stops a DUI fatality... or alcohol poisoning, we've done our job," Dobridnia said. 

Walton County is next door to Panama City Beach, an infamous spring break hangout. Dobridnia says they don't want to go down that road. Bay County officials have had a hard time controlling crime during Spring Break, with numerous violent incidents in recent years. 

The sheriff's office is also breaking down arrests by hometown with a map. More than half the states are represented. As of late last week, 13 arrestees are from Florida, including an 18 year old female from Lithia and a 20 year old male from Valrico. Follow this link to the map...

 

Enjoy yourself, clean up your trash, don't break the law. WCSO operates under #ZeroTolerance policy during #SpringBreak.

Mississippi State-12
Ole Miss-8
Georgia Southern-7
Univ. of Tenn-6
Texas A&M-6
Univ. of Georgia-6
Univ. of North Georgia-5 (CORRECTED)
Oklahoma State-5

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