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Serving alcohol until 4am: boon or bane for public safety?

by AirTalk®

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Mixologist Jimmy Fransioli prepares a Herradura cocktail at Tequila Herradura premieres 'Luck Is Earned' on National Margarita Day eve. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Tequila Herradura

Unlike in other major cities around the U.S. -- Las Vegas, Miami, Chicago -- bars in Los Angeles and San Francisco shut down at wee hours of 2 a.m.

That’s the impetus behind the new bill proposed by Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) that would push back alcohol sales for two hours in some municipalities. In addition to bringing more profits for bars and nightclubs, Wiener argues the extension, named  Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act (LOCAL),  could promote public safety. In the aftermath of the Ghostship tragedy, lawmakers are thinking of ways to discourage club goers from attending illegal venues. By making the last call 4 a.m. instead of 2 a.m., people might opt for aboveboard businesses over ad hoc and dangerous venues.  While restaurant groups and hospitality coalitions support the bill, community advocates are concerned about a potential spike in noise level and drunk driving.

Guest host Libby Denkmann sits down with Jessica Lall, president of the Central City Association, and Steven Sussman, professor of preventive medicine and psychology, to talk about the cost-benefit analysis of a later curfew. 


Jessica Lall, president and chief executive of the Central City Association, a downtown L.A. business advocacy group

Steven Sussman, a professor of preventive medicine and psychology specializing in addiction at the University of Southern California

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