City Councilman Opposes State Bill to Keep L.A. Bars Open Later

Photo by: Chan Walrus | Pexels.com
Photo by: Chan Walrus | Pexels.com

By City News Service

A city councilman introduced a resolution today in opposition to a state bill that would allow Los Angeles and eight other cities in California to keep some bars and nightclubs open until 4 a.m.

SB 58 is at least the third attempt by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, to pass a law that would allow bars in some cities to stay open later than 2 a.m. A version of the bill was passed by the Legislature last year but was vetoed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown.

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, who introduced the resolution, held several news conferences in opposition to the idea of earlier bar times when Weiner was trying to pass the previous versions.

“Let me be clear. If this passes we can expect more DUIs, more drunk driving and more alcohol-related deaths,” Koretz said at a 2017 City Hall news conference. “Once this is the law, it will be much harder to reverse.”

The reintroduced Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act (LOCAL) would grant Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Long Beach, West Hollywood, Coachella, Cathedral City and Palm Springs the power to extend alcohol sales until as late as 4 a.m.

The bill’s supporters argue that the law banning booze sales from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. is an outdated requirement written in 1935 and is not in line with Los Angeles being one of the entertainment capitals of the world. They also say it would help businesses while giving the decision-making power to local jurisdictions.

The nonprofit group Alcohol Justice, which has opposed Weiner’s bills, said findings from various domestic and international studies have found that extending bar hours increases alcohol-related harm, including motor vehicle collisions.

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board endorsed an earlier version of Wiener’s bill in 2017, saying “there’s no firm science behind last-call laws, no data that prove that 2 a.m. is better than 4 a.m or 6 a.m. or any other time. The laws are more a reflection of a state’s history, its cultural practices and its politics.”

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel

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