A bill that would let businesses in West Hollywood and six other California cities serve alcohol until 4 a.m. took a major step forward today when it passed in the state Senate.
The bill, SB 905, must be approved by the state Assembly and then signed by Gov. Jerry Brown before it can take effect. If that happens, the seven cities that it authorizes to serve until 4 a.m. must each decide if they want to implement it and how.
The late-night bar bill would apply to Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento and San Francisco as well as West Hollywood. The West Hollywood City Council and that of Oakland have endorsed it as have the mayors of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
While the West Hollywood City Council endorsed the bill in 4 to 1 vote in April 2017 (Councilmember Lauren Meister opposed it), the city’s Public Safety Commission and Capt. Sergio Aloma of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station have spoken out against it. Aloma has questioned assumptions that the bill only would have an impact on cities that agree to extend bar serving hours past the current 2 a.m. limit.
“I don’t think that we should fool ourselves in thinking that local impact is going to be contained in the City of West Hollywood,” Aloma said at the Public Safety Commission’s April 9 meeting. “Two hours of additional drinking certainly is going to have an impact on cities outside West Hollywood. I also think it’s going to impact our local trauma centers …
“We’re going to absolutely have to rethink our staffing model and our deployment of deputy service. At 4 a.m., we don’t have the same staffing we have at midnight or two a.m.”
Wiener’s bill also has gotten the support of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
If the bill passes in the state Assembly and Brown signs it into law, it would take effect in 2021. The cities authorized to serve until 4 a.m. each would decide exactly how late they wanted to extend alcohol sales hours and on what days of the week.
The bill specifies that cities extending drinking hours must report the impact of the extension to the legislature by 2025 at which time it will reassess it.