What do you think about bars and clubs being allowed to stay open later, till 4am? Does it really matter? Will extending another two hours really be detrimental?
CALIF'S 4 A.M. LAST CALL BILL ALREADY FUELS DEBATE
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The last call for drinks is 2 a.m. in California, but one lawmaker believes that's just too early to set down the shot glasses and beer steins.
State Sen. Mark Leno's proposal to let the liquor flow until 4 a.m. as a way to draw more tourists - and with them more revenue and jobs - is already spawning a sharp debate from Sacramento to watering holes in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Leno said the measure would make the state more competitive with other hotspots like New York, Las Vegas and Miami that serve alcohol later into the wee hours of the morning or 24 hours a day.
Night-spot owners say a later last call will be good for business, but law enforcement officials argue that it increases the chances that cities will see more public drunkenness, violence, drunken driving and possibly fatalities.
At Steff's, a sports bar near the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park, patron Armand Gaerlan liked the idea of a 4 a.m. last call. "I've lived in New York City. If it's working there, it can definitely happen here," said Gaerlan, who thinks the move would allow for making later dinner reservations.
At nearby Nova Bar and Restaurant, customer Kendra Chrysler said it was a bad idea. "I'll pass. I feel like nothing good happens after 2 a.m.," she said.
In Los Angeles, there is a buzz about a later last call, said Barbara Jacobs, chief operating officer at a 1920's-themed downtown nightspot, The Edison. She said the bar is making plans for a midnight breakfast and cocktail menu in case the proposal passes.
"There's clearly a demand," he said. "I think the younger population, especially the young tech workers - they're working hours that are different from the traditional 9 to 5. They work later, so they party later."
However, law enforcement officials argue that establishments serving alcohol past 2 a.m. will produce significant problems.
John Lovell, a lobbyist for the Sacramento-based California Police Chiefs Association, said an extended last call will further stretch many depleted law enforcement agencies that will be forced to monitor inebriated patrons when the bars close.
"That will be a whole new dynamic with those leaving a bar at 4 a.m. hitting the road when the early commute is in progress," Lovell said. "That brings a whole new danger."