After Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill in September by Senator Scott Wiener that would extend late night alcohol services in bars and restaurants until 4:00 am, Wiener has reintroduced it.
Wiener took to Twitter on Tuesday saying he wasn’t going to give up on the bill.
“As we near Xmas, let’s give the gift of great nightlife. Yesterday, I introduced SB 58, allowing 9 cities to extend nightlife to 4 am. Gov Brown vetoed the same bill this year, saying it’d lead to “mischief & mayhem.” No, it won’t. It’ll lead to great nightlife. We won’t give up,” said Wiener.
Senate Bill 58 (Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night) is a 5-year pilot program beginning in January of 2022:
This bill, beginning January 1, 2022, and before January 2, 2027, would require the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to conduct a pilot program that would authorize the department to issue an additional hours license to an on-sale licensee located in a qualified city which would authorize, with or without conditions, the selling, giving, or purchasing of alcoholic beverages at the licensed premises between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., upon completion of specified requirements by the qualified city in which the licensee is located. The bill would impose specified fees related to the license to be deposited in the Alcohol Beverage Control Fund. The bill would require the applicant to notify specified persons of the application for an additional hours license and would provide a procedure for protest and hearing regarding the application. The bill would require the Department of the California Highway Patrol and each qualified city that has elected to participate in the program to submit reports to the Legislature and specified committees regarding the regional impact of the additional hours licenses, as specified. The bill would provide that any person under 21 years of age who enters and remains in the licensed public premises during the additional serving hours without lawful business therein is guilty of a misdemeanor, as provided. The pilot program would apply to Cathedral City, Coachella, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Francisco, and West Hollywood.
In September, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the bill stating the bill would provide businesses and cities with more revenue, but stated it would also lead to more drunk driving.
“California’s law regulating late night drinking have been on the books since 1913. I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem,” said Brown in his veto letter.
In a Press Release by the California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA) and Alcohol Justice, they called the reintroduction of the bill an “outrage” and tone-deaf, third Quixotic attempt by Weiner.
“Like climate change deniers, Senator Wiener continues to deny dozens of peer-reviewed studies that show two more hours of alcohol sales will nearly double alcohol-related violence, crime, police calls, and emergency department visits,” stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO at Alcohol Justice. “Later bar times benefit business owners while the cost of cleaning up spilled blood and splattered brains after 4 a.m. will come from public resources.”
Veronica De Lara, Program Director at CAPA, added the following.
“This year, Senator Wiener made a mockery of scientific research and the legislative process by mislabeling SB 905 a ‘pilot project,’” said Veronica De Lara, MPA, Program Director, Pueblo y Salud, and Co-Chair of CAPA. “Virtually the entire state would have been exposed to additional alcohol-related harms if Governor Brown had not vetoed the bill. Now, with SB 58, Wiener continues to deny the research while mocking Governor Brown and the California Highway Patrol by tweeting…”No it won’t. It’ll lead to great nightlife.”
Wieners previous bill, Senate Bill 905, passed the State Assembly in a 51-22 vote. Locally, Assemblymemmbers Jim Frazier and Catharine Baker voted no while Tim Grayson voted yes. In the State Senate, it passed with a 28-8 vote with Senate Glazer in support.