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Calif. Senator Proposes 4 A.M. Last Call


It seems to always be the same complaint. 

Your friend who's visiting from out of town—New York, Chicago or maybe Miami—can't understand how Angelenos survive with bars that stop serving liquor and kick everyone out by 2 a.m. Yes, it's a hard pill to swallow for some. Unlike many big cities of the U.S. where liquor can be served until 4 a.m. (and even later in some cases), here in L.A., those precious hours of post-bar revelry between 2 a.m. and the early rays of daylight are spent chowing down at a late-night diner, stumbling to an afterhours party or, for some, sleep. Imagine that.

But one State Senator (we'll refer to him as the coolest guy in the world ... or Sen. Mark Leno), has taken L.A.'s—really all of Cali's—party pooper ways to task. He has officially introduced legislation that would allow local governments to extend drinking hours to 4 a.m. if they so choose.

Leno says, "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." 

L.A. Weekly notes that the legislation does not apply to stores that sell liquor (so the 7-11 where you buy your 12-pack of beer for that rad afterhours party will still stop selling at 2 a.m.), only bars and restaurants. Also, the California Restaurant Association supports the bill.

There are of course arguments for and against this legislation taking effect. For starters, it would bring a huge amount of extra money into the cities that choose to expand their drinking laws. More jobs, tourism and tax revenue is obviously a good thing. 

Many will complain about a potential rise in drunk driving. First, let us not fail to admit that an increase in drunk driving arrests would itself bring a windfall of money into the local government. Second, that is all the more reason (for L.A. specifically) to re-examine a completely embarrassing public transportation system. But third, as L.A. Weekly points out, some believe having a 2 a.m. last call actually puts great pressure on law enforcement due to everyone leaving bars at once. Basically, if you extend last call by two hours, some believe people will naturally disperse throughout the evening/morning and police will better be able to enforce the law.

Most importantly, extending last call to 4 a.m. in L.A.—and our Cali cousins San Francisco and San Diego—will totally raise our cool factor. It'll be one less thing New Yorkers have on us (way cooler) Angelenos. 

What do you think about the proposed extension of last call? Let us know.

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