California Lawmaker Wants Last Call Extended to 4AM


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Most U.S. states have laws governing "last call," what time must close. Alaska has the most liberal laws, allowing bars to be open from 8am to 5am (except on election days, which is cruel). In California, as in about a dozen other states, bars must close by 2am. Many states allow local governments to restrict operating hours further. Now one lawmaker wants to extend last call in California.

From the AP:

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.

You have to fight for your right to party, apparently.

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  1. Thanks for the Beastie Boys drop! And you can drink until 4AM in California; you just have to know which bars to go to.

  2. The coppers want all the drunks funneled onto the road at the same time.

  3. Ky has the option of 4 AM.

    Louisville uses it.

    It requires an additional liquor license beyond the 2 AM one, so lots of places dont do it.

    Which probably works best*, staggered closing.

    The big advantage of the 4 AM last call, is that due to it, lots of clubs and bars that stay open that late dont get rocking until 11 or midnight. Youngsters dont head out until late, while the old folgies like me can drink without them around. In places where the closing time is earlier, there is more overlap.

    *well, of course, best would be no legal closing time and places would close when it made same business sense to close.

  4. The British can only drink in pubs ’till 11PM and they get all of the ” public drunkenness, violence, drunken driving and possibly fatalities” one could possibly want.

    1. They were smart enough to get rid of that.

      1. Eventually.

        1. One of my London co-workers said it used to be a race to see how many pints you could down by closing time. Then all the raging drunks would spill into the streets looking for someplace to go eat. It was a particularly bad time to be out and about.

        2. I was in Leicester Square at 11pm when someone called in a bomb threat to the tube station. Fuckin-a. What a drunken logistical disaster.

        3. And it was the English (and maybe Welsh), not all of Britain. It is important to remember (especially if you are talking to a Scottish person) that England and Scotland are not the same country (or nation or whatever you call it).

  5. see more public drunkenness, violence, drunken driving

    I would argue less drunken driving, or at least it will be less dangerous, as most of us are home and in bed by 4 AM, and the drunks will have mostly empty roads to work with.

    1. But that would deprive the State of what drunk driving laws are really on the books for: revenue.

      “Why do you want to cut school funding, robc?”

      -state politician from Team Red or Team Blue

      1. Because I went to state schools and thus I understand.

  6. Dammit, man! I was posting on this weeks ago. I even called in to my local am radio station (KMJ 580 in Fresno) to give them a lesson in private property rights, personal responsibility and the fact that any across-the-board closing time is a bad idea from a public safety standpoint.

    The host was stunned silent and pretty much told everybody when he gathered himself that I had completely changed his mind at the end of the show. It was awesome.

    1. Good jorb!

      As referenced above, England used to have 11 PM last call. They got rid of it altogether in 2005.

      And now instead of a bunch of drunks leaving all at once at 11, they leave in a staggered pattern, which is much safer.

      1. I would like to apologize, Ive never even watched a single episode of Homestar Runner and still I used that phrase. Sorry.

        1. There’s only one episode worth watching anyways, the one your phrase is quoted in.

          1. This man speaks the truth.

    2. You’re calling in to AM radio? I’m telling Shriek! I’m telling Shriek!

      1. Dude, you know me better than anybody else on here. Why would my need to be noticed surprise you in the least?

        Oh, what’s the tix situation looking like for the Grand Prix of LB? We’re still mulling it over.

        1. Don’t know about tix, but you can crash at our place for the weekend. We’ll be out of town.

          1. That was gonna be the plan. I’ll let you know by this weekend.

  7. Probably more problems in San Francisco alcohol-wise. Already the last BART subway trains leave the city about 1230 am, so the B&T crowd can’t even drink till the current closing time and have a guaranteed safe ride home. I’ve never understood why they don’t stay open until closing time at least on Fridays and Saturdays, that would already increase the use of the system for people wanting to go to concerts and other nightlife as well as the bars.

    1. People whine about Louisville not having light rail and I always respond with “If it wont get my drunk ass home at 4 AM, whats the point of having it?”

      Google cars will handle that just fine. I can wait for them.

      1. Anyone visibly intoxicated can be refused entry to Lexington’s money pit buses or kicked off of one. If I can’t get home on it after drinking, why the fuck is it costing me so much money?

    2. The Boston T has this same problem. Subway closes at 12:30, bars close at 2.

      1. This is because it is a government service and not a for-profit enterprise. Leaving easy money on the table is bad for business.

        1. They claim that they would lose money by staying open later. I really don’t see how that math works, particularly since they could easily charge extra on a Friday or Saturday night. Normal charge is $2, but I’d take it for up to ~$8 after the leaving the bar. That would still be better than the shitty medallion-based cabs.

          1. Premium pricing? That’s not fair.

            1. You’re right. It’s better for 2 AM T rides to cost infinite dollars than $8. Silly me, what was I thinking? Imagine if someone left the bar at 2 AM and only had $7 so they couldn’t take the T, but I, as a monocled child slaver, could?

              1. A libertarian in Boston? Thank you for doing the LORD’s work in enemy territory.

                I miss that place.

          2. Value-based pricing is unfathomable to government agencies. The service must be the same price to every customer on every route at every time of day. Imagine an airline run that way.

            1. The 91 Freeway in Riverside begs to differ.

              Tolls can be nearly $10 during busy times, but are around $1.40 when there’s no traffic.

          3. What makes it so dumb is that the government also controls the “price” of a drunken driving conviction. They could set the price of a ride on the bus or the tube anywhere they want by making the price of a DUI high enough.

      2. I’m sure that the taxi lobby has nothing to do with this. Nothing at all.

        1. Well that can’t be, since they already have enough cabs to meet demand. Otherwise they would have given out more medallions, right? Obviously, yes they would have.

    3. Tokyo has this problem figured out:

      Last train is roughly speaking 12:30 (although depending on your destination could be just before 1 am), but most of the bars are open til 5 am. So you just have to sleep 30 minutes at the train station until the first trains start showing up at 5:30.

      I did that once, went home and crashed for about 45 minutes, then went to class and got a 79 on my Kanji test. It was awesome.

  8. This would actually be a factor in whether or not I want to transfer to our LA office…

  9. they leave in a staggered pattern

    *one hand clapping*

  10. In Florida closing time is 2am standard, but local governments can make it later or earlier if they want. Tampa and St. Pete close at 3am, Miami I think 5am (they really like to get their drink on), Orlando has toyed with the 3am rule, but not sure if it ever passed or not.

    It’s funny because the argument here was always that it helps the Police deal with DUI better because people don’t all leave the bars at the same time, they filter out between 2 and 3 so it’s a more manageable trafic

    1. No, Orlando is staunchly 2 am (really 1:40… fucking bullshit), and in downtown the cops are out in droves.

      Also, Fuck Lake Eola.

  11. tix situation looking like for the Grand Prix of LB? We’re still mulling it over.

    Fuck those “IndyCar” tugboats.

    My advice is to go Saturday and watch the Indy Lights race, and the Mazda whatever-they’re-calling-them-nows. And the ALMS (Rolex) race.

    Spend Sunday at the beach.

  12. Oh, another Free Market comment on drunk driving, AAA offers a service in Florida where they will give you a tow home if you are drunk with your car. It’s like a taxi service that takes your car home too.

    1. Louisville has a company that has fold-up mopeds. They stick them in your trunk, drive you home in your car, then ride the moped back.

    2. Japan has this as well, called daiko. However, the state subsidizes it, like every other mode of transportation in their country, so everyone’s already paying for it.

      It’s a good system, but it is retarded that people who live within walking distance of their favorite watering hole or people who don’t even drink are paying for everyone else’s ride home. But the Japanese are so subservient now that they don’t even give a shit about socialism. They openly welcome it and hate any challenges to the system.

      That’s why I couldn’t stay there more than 2 or 3 years max, unlike a lot of my friends who look for jobs after their final contract year with JET.

      1. But the Japanese are so subservient now

        That’s not really a new thing, is it?

        1. But the Japanese are so subservient now

          That’s not really a new thing, is it?

          The Koreans and Chinese would like a word with you.

          1. Obviously not to Koreans and Chinese. But to other Japanese, particularly those who run the government.

  13. So what’s the real motivation behind this proposal?

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