Closing time. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. A bill that would have allowed California bars, clubs and restaurants to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., two hours past the current last call, was voted down Tuesday in the Senate Committee. Go ahead and drink away your sorrows. We understand.
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Introduced by state Senator Mark Leno, Senate Bill 645 aimed to help propel California nightlife to the level of late-night hotspots in New York, Vegas, Chicago and Miami, which could create jobs, boost tourism and generate local tax revenue. Supporters believed a more staggered set of closing hours could lead to increased safety--partiers wouldn't be hitting the roads all at the same time.
Opponents, however, argued that extended hours would mean drivers would be more tired and more drunk, a threat to early-morning highway workers and commuters. One Change.org petition read, "Talk to any emergency-department physician, 9-1-1 dispatcher, law-enforcement professional, or bus driver about the unintended consequences of keeping the liquor flowing until 4 a.m."
The vote was 6-4, and the deadline has passed for the senator to try again this year. A Leno spokesperson told LA Weekly that it hasn't been decided whether they'll reintroduce the bill next year.