Could addictions be furthered if people in our state had two more hours to legally drink at bars and nightclubs? It’s certainly a question worth bringing up as news begins rumbling about a statewide “Last Call Bill” (aka Senate Bill 58) that could be enacted. Several legislators are now pushing for the alcohol cutoff time to be pushed from 2am to 4am, which has raised a lot of red flags.
This is not the fist time a proposition like this has come into play. Our current governor, Jerry Brown, swiftly shot down the idea, saying it could put many more Californians in harm’s way. But with a new elected official about to enter that office, there is chatter that this idea may become a reality.
To his credit, Governor Brown was quite firm in his words when rejecting this type of bill.
“California’s laws regulating late-night drinking have been on the books since 1913,” he explained prior to vetoing the measure. “I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem.”
But governor-elect Gavin Newsom is rumored to have a different stance on the issue. He happens to be a part owner of a bar restaurant in Palm Springs (named PlumpJack), which means he could potentially benefit financially from extended alcohol hours.
Truth be told, Newsom has not commented publicly on the issue. But that hasn’t stopped the endless speculation. And topped above that, several prominent California politicians are pushing for the change. Democratic Senator Scott Wiener put out a tweet this month, urging citizens to support the measure.
As we near Xmas, let’s give the gift of great nightlife. Yesterday, I introduced SB 58, allowing 9 cities to extend nightlife to 4 am. Gov Brown vetoed the same bill this year, saying it’d lead to “mischief & mayhem.” No, it won’t. It’ll lead to great nightlife. We won’t give up.
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) December 18, 2018
Whether it supports businesses or not, we do feel that extending these hours could create a lot of new hazards. There are additional DUI considerations and plenty of gateways to fuel alcoholic addictions. These types of temptations could also be dangerous for people in the midst of recovery (and at a risk for a relapse).
We know all about the argument that people will be drinking regardless of bar cutoff times. But why make the opportunity that much easier for people who may be facing a problem?