An issue that has been debated and dismissed numerous times in court is the extension of last call in California. The issue made its journey back to court this year and state policymakers are pushing for a 4 a.m. call.
Currently, California’s last call is set for 2 a.m., an hour longer than some other states across America. However, New York boasts a later call set at 4 a.m., and bars in Nevada never close.
Senate Bill 58 will be heading to the Assembly this summer, and lawmakers are hoping that this year will be a success. They hope that Governor Gavin Newsom’s business interests will motivate him to keep an open mind and help push the bill through. Newsom is known to have interest in a collection of wineries and hotels under the PlumpJackGroup.
Last year, a similar bill labelled Senate Bill 905 came close to being accepted. It went all the way to the final sign-off by then-Governor Jerry Brown. However, Brown did not sign off on the request, stating that “we have enough mischief from midnight to two without adding two more hours of mayhem.”
What is interesting to note about this year’s attempt is that only a few months ago, legislators were trying to lower the current BAC limit from 0.08 to 0.05. Not that extending bar hours will always cause a person to have a higher BAC limit as he walks out the door, but is this asking for more trouble?
If lowering the BAC passes, it will be hard to imagine that the same group will also then allow for a bar hours extension. The two issues seem to be in conflict with each other. However, it will be interesting to see how economic and prestige factors come into play in getting the nightlife hours in California extended. And even more interesting to see how that may affect our DUI numbers.