We are already known as the most liberal state out there, so now California is out to set the bar again for the states. This, a play on words as we are aiming to achieve the extension of bar time until 4 a.m. But this is no easy feat against public safety organizations scattered across the state that believe the lack of restriction will increase the crime rate. Local requirements, longer business hours, more law enforcement- will it be worth it?
Most argue the costs will not be, especially former chair of Pacific Beach Planning Group, Brian Curry, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. “Where’s the positive economic impact of our current law which allows drinking until 2 a.m.? Does it in any way come close to exceeding the negative impacts resulting from injury, death, and law enforcement, (on) city services, and anti-social behavior?” Yes, he has a point as our economy is already struggling. But we already know that the youthful piece of the population will be in favor of this motion, feeding their habits, social lives, and personality. As much as they are hungry for alcohol and adventure, local officials feel the same about the way the city is perceived; always wanting to be “the best.”
The silver lining? Those that want to partake in the communal uprising of socialites can choose to and those that want nothing to do with it can reject the extended bar hours. It’s a win-win. Co-author of the bill, Joel Anderson, says “this bill will allow tourist destinations an opportunity to apply to stay open later only with local support. Every scenario suggested by the naysayers would quickly fail to be approved in the process.” Although it will be fun for kids to stay out later, the real responsibility will rely on local officials that will be required to form task forces comprised of local police, Highway Patrol and more to oversee the aftermath of the extension.
Increase in Drinking and Driving or Uber?
It will also be interesting to see what this possible extension will do for those that drive drinkers for a living, aka Uber and Lyft. One of the major worries of the public safety organizations is that the differing closing hours in the community will increase chances of drunk driving. “Different bar hours between different cities would only encourage people to drive- oftentimes while drunk- in order to find a business that is open late and still serving alcohol.” Which we understand, but considering how prominent these driving companies are in this city, we feel that most will simply rely on the cheap form of transportation more. But then again, who knows?
Time Will Tell
Intended to increase the sources of entertainment that feed the economy, tourism, and marketing for the city, the bill is currently awaiting the approval of the local Assembly Appropriations Committee here in San Diego. If the Committee is in favor, the bill will become law and has potential to be issued as soon as January 1, 2020. Being in the Gaslamp community, lucky enough to be, we are often exposed to this rich, vivid nightlight culture. As long as our society does not risk their well-being, we are in favor of the extension and hope to partake in the festivities from time-to-time. How do you feel about the bill? Are you in favor of the nightlife or the security of safety?