California Senate Approves Bill to Extend Alcohol Service to 4 a.m.

DJ Santarosa
DJ Santarosa performs at the Conga Room in Los Angeles. (Photo source: Facebook)

The California Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that would allow bars and restaurants to extend alcohol service to 4 a.m. The vote marked the first time a bill to extend alcohol service hours advanced past the state’s Senate.

The bill, which is called the Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act, will now move to the State Assembly for a vote before going to Governor Jerry Brown for final approval.

If approved, the LOCAL Act would let bars and restaurants sell alcohol past the current 2 a.m. cutoff time. However, local governments would be allowed to decide if they wish to extend the service hours. Establishments would also have to obtain permits from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who proposed the bill, spoke on Wednesday about the benefits of letting local governments decide for themselves.

“The LOCAL Act recognizes that nightlife is critical to the culture and economy of many cities throughout our large and diverse state, and that local communities can make responsible decisions to support nightlife, if that’s the choice they want to make. By taking this nuanced approach to empower – but not require — local communities to extend alcohol sales hours, we can support nightlife in California while also recognizing that there is not a one-sized fits all solution for each and every city in our great state.”

The bill still has some challenges ahead, however, as it faces strict opposition from groups who helped defeat a similar proposal in 2013. Their concerns include risks to public safety.

On the other hand, support for the bill has surged since 2013. The rise of apps like Lyft and Uber are cited as a major reason.

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