California senator pushes for 4 a.m. bar closing time -- again

- Another effort to allow bars in some California cities to sell alcohol until 4 a.m. is expected to be reintroduced on Tuesday.

This bill would only be in effect in nine cities if passed and it would just give bars and restaurants the option to serve until 4 a.m.

Those cities include San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and  six cities in Southern California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 

The “Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night” is being reintroduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener who says cities could come up with their own rules like where alcohol can be sold until 4 a.m. and how often.

A version of the bill was passed by the state legislature earlier this year but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it saying the bill would increase drunk driving. Wiener argues there isn’t data that proves that.

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom taking office in January could change the fate of this bill.

Some opponents include groups like Alcohol Justice and California Alcohol Policy Alliance. 
In a statement from the fall, the groups said the only benefit of the bill would be profit for bars – restaurants and club owners and that the public and government would be tasked with cleaning up the mess that follows.

Kevin Moss of San Francisco didn't like the idea. "It requires people to be responsible," he said. "I worry about traffic. People hurting themselves." 

Wiener told the Chronicle, however, that the bill would boost small businesses and add cultural vibrancy.

Lus Perez of San Francisco agreed. "It would be good for business," Perez said.

If passed, the bill would begin a five-year pilot program in those nine cities starting Jan. 1, 2022.  

After that, the legislature will choose whether or not to make the changes permanent. 
 

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