At the halfway point of this year's spring break, hundreds of underage drinkers have already been arrested and the remaining weeks promise more of the same.

At the halfway point of this year's spring break, hundreds of underage drinkers have already been arrested and the remaining weeks promise more of the same.

Though many believe the zealous enforcement helps keep the Emerald Coast safe, others question whether shackling teenagers, hauling them off to jail and releasing their mug shots is going too far.

Last weekend, as her college-age son headed to the area for spring break, one mother emailed Okaloosa County Commissioners, sharing her concerns.

Here are excerpts from her email, as well as County Commissioner Graham Fountain's responses. Fountain's background is in law enforcement.

Angry mom: "I am ASHAMED at the way Okaloosa County (and Walton County) are handling underage drinking arrests. Since when did a misdemeanor warrant leg shackles, handcuffs, a transport van and your photo displayed all over official social media and the local newspapers? These arrests ... are helping to ruin these kids' lives ... so the next time you get a traffic ticket for speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, jaywalking, etc., I expect to see YOU arrested with shackles, cuffs, a transport van, etc.

"I 100 percent agree with arresting drunk drivers, young adults who are being disrespectful to law enforcement, those who are so intoxicated they are getting sick and are a risk to themselves and others. But treating these 18, 19, and 20 year olds like they robbed a bank or killed someone is so wrong ... ticket the hell out of them if you so choose, but treating them like fugitives is the wrong approach.

"... I'll end up by saying my college-aged, nearly 20-year-old son will be in Destin starting tomorrow and I'm a nervous wreck. I never thought I'd say, 'Man, I wish he would have gone to Mexico." I have talked to him at length about your zero-tolerance police. But you know what ... they're kids. They're still young and learning about life."

Fountain: "Although I do understand your feelings, you do not understand that we here in our community would just (as) soon our counties not turn into the teenage cesspool that Panama City Florida did in the past. Both (Okaloosa and Walton) Sheriff's Offices have a Zero-Tolerance policy these days because writing citations did nothing. Teens would not come to court or pay their fines. Or if they did, their mommies and daddies had to pay them, which serves no learning experience at all...

"Maybe you have not stood where I have; looking at dead spring breakers killed behind the wheel of their car, or had to tell the families of those innocent people they killed. I bet you haven't .... (had to see) a drunk teenager here on their holiday who fell to their death off the balcony of a high rise condo because they were drunk and making bad decisions.

"Thanks for taking the time to write your email although that time might be better spent sitting down whether in written word or in person and tell your kids why they should not be violating the law while here."