LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz and a group of activists plan to speak out today against a bill before the Legislature that would allow Los Angeles and eight other cities to extend alcohol sales to 4 a.m.
Koretz and the activists -- including members of Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance -- plan to hold a news conference at 9 a.m. outside Los Angeles City Hall to oppose SB 58, the latest of several attempts by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, to pass a law that would allow bars in some cities to stay open later than 2 a.m.
Koretz introduced the resolution in March against the bill and held several news conferences in opposition to the idea of earlier bar times when Weiner was trying to pass the previous versions.
“Let me be clear. If this passes we can expect more DUIs, more drunk driving and more alcohol-related deaths,” Koretz said at a 2017 City Hall news conference. “Once this is the law, it will be much harder to reverse.”
The reintroduced Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act (LOCAL) would grant Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Long Beach, West Hollywood, Coachella, Cathedral City and Palm Springs the power to extend alcohol sales until as late as 4 a.m.
The bill's supporters argue that the law banning alcohol sales after 2 a.m. is an outdated requirement written in 1935 and is not in line with Los Angeles being one of the entertainment capitals of the world. They also say it would help businesses while giving the decision-making power to local jurisdictions.
The nonprofit group Alcohol Justice, which has opposed Weiner's bills, said findings from various domestic and international studies have found that extending bar hours increases alcohol-related harm, including motor vehicle collisions.
The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board endorsed an earlier version of Wiener's bill in 2017, saying “there's no firm science behind last-call laws, no data that prove that 2 a.m. is better than 4 a.m or 6 a.m. or any other time. The laws are more a reflection of a state's history, its cultural practices and its politics.”