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Should California extend hours of sale for alcoholic beverages?




People drinking beer.
People drinking beer.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would allow bars and clubs in some parts of California to serve alcoholic beverages until 4 a.m. SB 905 would give local communities the option to extend operating hours of service.

The bill, if passed, would affect Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Palm Springs and three Northern California cities. Currently, closing time for bars at these cities is 2 a.m. The proposal would give the Department of Alcoholic Beverages Control authority to issue additional hours for licensees in qualified cities that would allow the selling or purchasing of alcohol between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who says the state should not have a one-size-fits-all closing time.

Supports of the bill say limiting the serving of alcoholic beverages put some California cities at an economic disadvantage. Meanwhile, critics argue that extending those hours will come at a high price, citing health and safety concerns. So should California extend hours of sale for alcoholic beverages? We debate.

Guests:

Miguel Santiago, California state assemblyman, representing the 53rd district which encompasses Los Angeles, including downtown and parts of the eastside; coauthor of SB-905 that would extend hours of sale for alcoholic beverages; he tweets @SantiagoAD53

Sara Cooley, advocacy manager for Alcohol Justice, a national advocacy organization that campaigns against the influence of the alcohol industry