Senate Bill 58, also known as the “Last Call Bill,” was shut down by the State Assembly late last week. On September 13th, the vote came out to be 35 nays against 29 yeas, with 15 lawmakers abstaining from voting.
Unfortunately for Senator Weiner, the ban on alcohol between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. will stay around for a little while longer. This marks Senator Weiner’s third attempt to pass a last call extension, his first try dating back to 2017.
Weiner and his supporters felt that the economic positives that would come from the extended business hours and lively atmosphere of the cities would outweigh the potential for increased danger. They argued that there are plenty of rideshare services and other transportation methods that would address the worry of increased DUI drivers.
Efforts have been made to modify the original bill and address some of the concerns that the opposition have raised. Despite the adjustments, the bill still could not win over those who felt strongly against increasing the possibility of more alcohol consumption and drunk driving.
The regulations around late night hours has been in effect since around 1913. It’s hard to tell if the law should be left as it is, or if it is indeed time to “revamp” what we have. As the subsequent votes reveal, it doesn’t seem like the Assembly is quite ready to make that change. Since it’s been rejected for the third time in a row, perhaps communities are just not ready for it.