Patrons watch television at the bar in the King Eddy Saloon. Should California bars be allowed to serve alcohol until 4 a.m.?
California Senator Mark Leno has just introduced SB 635, which would expand alcoholic beverage service from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. throughout the state. Leno says that extended service hours would allow Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco to compete on a more even level for tourism with cities like Chicago, New York, and Las Vegas.
The bill would give local communities the option to expand their alcohol service hours, and individual establishments would go through an approval process for late night service. The late hours would only apply to restaurants, bars, and clubs, not liquor stores. Critics say that ending uniform hours could result in more bar-hopping, potentially putting intoxicated drivers on the road.
Is extending alcohol service hours a good idea? Would it make California cities more exciting tourism destinations? Could it put a stress on public transportation or cause more drunk driving accidents?
Mark Leno, Democratic State Senator, 3rd District (San Francisco)
Bruce Lee Livingston, executive director and CEO, Alcohol Justice, a national advocacy organization that campaigns against the influence of the alcohol industry