LA City Council opposes 4 a.m. bar bill, citing safety worries

Citing concerns over a potential increase in drunk driving and alcohol-related deaths, the Los Angeles City Council voted on Friday, Aug. 5 to oppose a bill in the state Legislature that would allow bars in seven cities — including West Hollywood — to stay open until 4 a.m.

Senate Bill 930, introduced by Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would authorize a pilot program extending the hours that bars, restaurants, taverns and nightclubs in the select cities can sell alcohol from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. The other cities are: Cathedral City, San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno, Coachella and Palm Springs.

The council voted 10-2 on Friday on a motion taking an official position opposing the bill, with councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Bob Blumenfield dissenting.

Councilman Paul Koretz, who held a news conference last week before introducing the motion, reiterated at Friday’s meeting that the proposed legislation would endanger public safety. Though the extended drinking hours would occur in West Hollywood, Koretz believes that drivers would end up crossing through his West Los Angeles district after 2 a.m. and return to L.A. in the early morning.

“I believe the bill’s authors figured if they took L.A. out, that we would simmer down and not oppose it,” Koretz said. “But let me be clear: This bill still threatens our public safety, perhaps even more than before.”

Other councilmembers criticized Weiner and other lawmakers in Sacramento.

“For the life of me, with as many priorities as the state of California has right now, it’s baffling to me that a state senator would continue to push a bill for those people who say, ‘You know, I just can’t drink enough by 2 a.m. I need options to continue to drink for another two hours,”‘ Councilman Paul Krekorian said.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said: “Stop trying to impose your dangerous ideologies across the state anywhere, …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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