Group to rally against proposal to extend bar hours until 4 am

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Substance abuse prevention advocates in San Diego plan to speak out Tuesday against legislation that would allow cities around the state extend the bar-closing time to 4 a.m., from the current 2 a.m.

SB 384, introduced by Sen. Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon, and Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would allow the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to license establishments to sell adult drinks for an extra two hours if the business complies with local requirements.

Wiener calls the bill the Local Act.

"Nightlife is crucial to the economy and culture of many of our cities, and we should be doing more to empower our communities to support nightlife," Wiener said. He said the bill, which passed the state Senate and is now before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, is a "nuanced approach to empower — but not require — local communities to extend alcohol sales hours."

The San Diego opponents — who include representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Pacific Beach Community Planning Group — contend that an extension would create extra burdens for law enforcement, strain the ABC and exacerbate crime.

In comments in March to the publication CityBeat, Anderson said, "You always run the risk of DUIs whether it’s 4 o’clock in the morning or 2 o’clock in the morning or 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I think you can stay out past 2 a.m. and not overdo it."

Categories: Local San Diego News