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California Could Extend Last Call to 4 am

A new bill could boost the state's economy—but at what cost?

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2 am too early to go home? Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda

03/18/13

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Right now, Californians get kicked out of the bar at 2 am—but that could soon change. State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced a new bill that would extend the last call for alcohol sales until 4 am in LA and other California cities, as part of an effort to boost tourism in the state. "This legislation would allow destination cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego to start local conversations about the possibility of expanding night life and the benefits it could provide the community by boosting jobs, tourism and local tax revenue,'' said Leno. When it comes to inviting out-of-towners, he claims cities like Los Angeles are currently at a disadvantage compared to Miami, New York, and Las Vegas, where bars and clubs stay open later. The restaurant and nightclub industry show overwhelming support for the bill, which they hope will bring them more business and keep customers happy. "A lot of people don't want to stop [drinking] at 2 am,” said Tony Palermo, the owner of Tony P's Dockside Grill in Marina del Rey. “And then you become the bad guy.” However, many are opposed to the idea of later drinking hours, and believe the bill could increase drunk driving rates and cause more traffic and noise during the night. Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff, is against the bill, because "people don't need to have two more hours for drinking."

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