SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Bars may be able to start applying in January to stay open until 4 am.
Senate Bill 58 passed the Assembly Government Organization Committee on Wednesday by a vote of 11-5. Five Assemblymembers didn’t vote.
The proposed legislation would allow bars in Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Coachella, Cathedral City, Fresno, and Palm Springs to extend last call hours from the current 2 am to 4 am.
Currently, there are more than 9,000 “on-sale licenses” in those cities. Establishments looking to extend last call would need to pay a $2,500 application fee, plus another $2,500 annually.
Even if SB 58 becomes law, the ten cities listed wouldn’t automatically get to extend last call. Instead, cities would need to adopt a local ordinance that would get approved by the Alcohol Control Board. ABC would also approve or deny applications submitted by bars looking to close at 4 am and would base the decision on a number of criteria, including:
- Requires that all persons engaged in the sale or service of alcohol during the additional hours period complete a responsible beverage-training course.
- Prohibits the additional hours’ license to be transferred between on-sale licensed premises.
- Requires ABC, upon receipt of an application, to make a thorough investigation, including whether the additional hours would unreasonably interfere with the quiet enjoyment of their property by the residents of the local community.
- Authorizes ABC to deny an application if the issuance of that license would tend to create a law enforcement problem or if issuance would result in or add to an undue concentration of licenses.
- Requires the applicant to notify the law enforcement agencies of the city, the residents of the city located within 500 feet of the premises for which an additional hours license is sought, and any other interested parties, as determined by the local governing body, within 30 consecutive days of the filing of the application.
The new law would go into effect on January 1, 2022, and sunset on January 2, 2027.
A number of cities nationwide have similar laws, including Chicago, Washington, DC, New York City, Buffalo, Las Vegas, and Louisville.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill, SB 905, earlier in 2018, citing concerns raised by the California Highway Patrol over an increase in drunk driving.
“California’s laws regulating late-night drinking have been on the books since 1913,” Gov. Brown said in his veto. “I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to two without adding two more hours of mayhem.”
The previously-vetoed bill had the support of a number of mayors and chambers of commerce statewide.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has spoken in support of a later last call hour, noting how it would help in the revitalization of the downtown district.
“This legislation gives us the flexibility to tailor our nightlife scene to attract tourists and conventions while protecting the character of our quieter residential neighborhoods,” Steinberg said in a statement.