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Alcohol

4 a.m. Last Call For Alcohol Proposed For Calif. Clubs By Sen. Mark Leno

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Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM
click to enlarge JACREWS7 / FLICKR
  • jacrews7 / Flickr

Young tourists seeking a taste of Los Angeles nightlife are almost always in for a bitter pill.

Expecting Hollywood glamour and all-night partying on a world-class level, revelers from out of town are more likely to get kicked to the curb at 2 a.m. because of California's strict alcohol laws.

It's embarrassing. State Sen. Mark Leno today announced that he has introduced legislation that would change our party pooper ways:

He wants to allow local governments to extend drinking hours until 4 a.m. Woot-woot?

Leno:

This legislation would allow destination cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego to start local conversations about the possibility of expanding nightlife and the benefits it could provide the community by boosting jobs, tourism and local tax revenue.

His bill, SB 635, would allow only nightclubs and restaurants to go until 4 a.m. (Stores that sell alcohol would still be subject to earlier hours).

Leno's office says it would help bring California nightlife in line with that of such after-hours beacons as Las Vegas, New York, Chicago and Miami.

The legislation is supported by the California Restaurant Association.

click to enlarge DIDEO / FLICKR
  • Dideo / Flickr

Some have argued that having all the drunk people leave bars at 2 a.m. puts pressure on communities and police, and that later closing times might actually spread the burden and allow some to sober up if they so chose.

Matt Gray, executive director of Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety:

Uniform closing times put significant stress on public transportation systems and the law enforcement agencies tasked with managing and dispersing large crowds of patrons when they all leave the clubs at 2 a.m.

But the big argument here is money. Lots of it. Leno's office notes that nightlife in California is worth billions and that we're home to 1 out of every 4 top-grossing nightlife venues in the nation.

However, the top 10 venues are in late-night-serving cities like New York, Vegas and Miami. Leno:

Many cities in California have dynamic social activities that are vital to their economies, but they lack the flexibility to expand their businesses.

Are you for this? (We know you are).

*Out of an abundance of caution and kindness, we swapped out the top photo in this post after we were contacted by someone concerned about the depiction of his little sister. We understand ...

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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