Senate committee votes down extending bar hours to 4 a.m.

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013 - 7:58 am

California lawmakers Tuesday cut off a push to keep booze flowing at bars, clubs and restaurants until 4 a.m.

Senate Bill 635, by state Sen. Mark Leno, proposed a process to extend the hours of on-site liquor sales from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. The bill failed to clear the Senate Governmental Organization Committee on a vote of 6-4, with several Democrats voting no or abstaining.

Supporters touted the potential economic benefits of the bill, arguing that allowing cities to keep their bars open later could attract tourists and be a boon for restaurants, entertainment venues and other businesses.

"We hear a lot about our 24/7 society, meaning that we're open for business every hour of every day, but when you think about it we haven't really made any changes to accommodate that fact," said Leno, a San Francisco Democrat.

Opponents said they were concerned about the effects on quality of life and public safety that could come with an extension of alcohol sale hours, including an increase in drunken driving in the early hours of the morning when commuters are already on the road.

Call Torey Van Oot, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5544. Follow her on Twitter @capitolalert.

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