L.A. doesn’t want 4 a.m. last call for WeHo

Citing concerns over a potential increase in drunk driving and alcohol-related deaths, the Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to oppose a bill in the state Legislature that would allow bars in seven cities — including West Hollywood — to stay open until 4 a.m.

Senate Bill 930, introduced by Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would authorize a pilot program extending the hours that bars, restaurants, taverns and nightclubs in the select cities can sell alcohol from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. The other cities are: Cathedral City, San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno, Coachella and Palm Springs.

The council voted 10-2 on Friday on a motion taking an official position opposing the bill, with councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Bob Blumenfield dissenting.

Councilman Paul Koretz, who held a news conference last week before introducing the motion, reiterated at Friday’s meeting that the proposed legislation would endanger public safety. Though the extended drinking hours would occur in West Hollywood, Koretz believes that drivers would end up crossing through his West Los Angeles district after 2 a.m. and return to L.A. in the early morning.

“I believe the bill’s authors figured if they took L.A. out, that we would simmer down and not oppose it,” Koretz said. “But let me be clear: This bill still threatens our public safety, perhaps even more than before.”

Other councilmembers criticized Weiner and other lawmakers in Sacramento.

“For the life of me, with as many priorities as the state of California has right now, it’s baffling to me that a state senator would continue to push a bill for those people who say, `You know, I just can’t drink enough by 2 a.m. I need options to continue to drink for another two hours,”‘ Councilman Paul Krekorian said.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said: “Stop trying to impose your dangerous ideologies across the state anywhere, and heed the call of local municipalities, where we work day in and day out to protect our constituents and civil society at large.”

Buscaino said in a statement to City News Service that he supports the legislation because he believes Los Angeles’ last call time should be on par with that of New York, Tokyo and Paris as the “entertainment capital of the world.”

“As a former police officer, I am acutely aware that spreading out the exit of patrons can create less friction on the sidewalk and adjoining neighborhoods,” Buscaino said. “Also, the bill does not impact the city of Los Angeles. It is only a pilot program for smaller cities like West Hollywood, so let’s give it a shot and see how it works.”

The West Hollywood City Council voted 3-2 in June to allow the city to take part in the pilot program.

“Many bars and venues are still facing mountains of debt as a result of the last few years,” Wiener said in a statement in June. “Although we’re now in a very different phase of the pandemic and the bars that survived are open at full capacity, many of these small businesses are still struggling. We need to give them every possible tool to help them survive — including allowing them to stay open until 4 a.m. Nightlife is a core part of who we are as a state, and our world-class bars and nightclubs deserve a fighting chance.”

Several organizations, including the Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance, California Alcohol Policy Alliance and Alcohol Justice, also opposed the proposed bill.

“This is an outrageous bill, which as you know will cause a lot of harm to public health and safety,” said Mayra Jimenez, advocacy manger of California Alcohol Policy Alliance, during public comment. “Los Angeles is not included, but West Hollywood is still included. We know that drivers are willing to go seven to 40 miles from their place of last drink. So inevitably there will be a lot of harm.”

There have been numerous unsuccessful attempts since the early 2000s to extend alcohol service hours in California.

In 2018, then-Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill that would have applied to Los Angeles, Long Beach, West Hollywood, Palm Springs, Oakland and San Francisco, citing the potential increase in drunk driving.

“California’s laws regulating late-night drinking have been on the books since 1913,” Brown wrote in a letter to the legislature at the time. “I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem.”

SB 930 is set for a hearing in the state Assembly’s Appropriations Committee next week.

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jacktwist
jacktwist
1 day ago

Nobody does..the 2:00 drunks are bad enough.

Great Business Model
Great Business Model
13 hours ago
Reply to  jacktwist

The only folks able to capitalize on drunks are the bar owners who also send them into the night or 4:am with no sense of personal responsibility. Great business model.

JR Birdsong
JR Birdsong
1 day ago

There is ZERO logic in allowing bars to stay open until 4am. It is simply outrageous! Just gives 2 more hours of opportunity for people to get drunker and cause more crime. Very Stupid Idea! If the bar owners are not making mega bucks now, then they need to go get a Harvard MBA. The poor staff will never see the light of day! This means they will not be buying goods and services in WeHo, which means many small businesses will suffer, and lower tax income for the City. DUH! Someone has not thought this through very well.

Rose
Rose
1 day ago
Reply to  JR Birdsong

But the city of WeHo wants the extra revenue from bars & clubs … But probably, for the increase in parking tickets & those heavy fines are the juice that gets drunk by city Hall, but with no …. ZERO ….. Accountability or acknowledgement it exists.

What am I thinking. Nobody will put money in meters after 2am. Everybody knows that (if they don’t live in WeHo)

Cedric
Cedric
3 days ago

Look, any other large city across the country has 3am and 4am bar closings. It’s not cool to use nightlife for tax dollars and as a way of promoting the city only to have a problem with bars closing a little later. Ya’ll knew what you signed up for when you moved here, Now we got straight people pushing baby strollers doing all the real complaining. Now we got gay and straight folks saying defunding the sheriff has made it unsafe to stay open later and ain’t a single deputy been removed yet!

Valeri
Valeri
4 days ago

split the difference, make it 3 am.

Frank
Frank
4 days ago
Reply to  Valeri

exactly – that’s how arbitrary it is

jacktwist
jacktwist
1 day ago
Reply to  Valeri

Got a better idea- punish the lush and close at Midnight

John
John
16 hours ago
Reply to  jacktwist

10 PM would be good enough, instead of boozing, they should be RESTING their body…. Not in “PEACE” that may happen if they continue boozing.

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
6 days ago

So City Council voted 3/2 (SHE) to defund the Sheriff’s department, crime is up by 38%, now let’s open the bars longer so that there will be more drunk people on the streets making noise, driving while drunk, & having drunken fights while the social workers try to talk to these people about THEIR FEELINGS! Good idea….makes sense to a complete moron!

jjabely
jjabely
8 days ago

Why is everyone up in arms? It’s not permanent. It’s a pilot program.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
6 days ago
Reply to  jjabely

It’s also not required, giving those named cities the ability to allow it. I think WeHo City Council in their discussions about the bill looked at it as an opportunity to allow later alcohol sales on a special event basis rather than an every night, all establishment basis.

Interesting to see LA City take the opposite position they took the first two or three years the bill was introduced. I think they changed their position last time (hence their removal from the pilot program).

Give the pilot program a chance
Give the pilot program a chance
8 days ago

Not everyone has the same schedule, job or body clock.
Plenty of people who go out, work the 2nd shift, or retail or at restaurants.
Many don’t or can’t go out until Midnight. Suddenly it’s last call at 1:30 and they’re kicking everyone out. WHY? Because people who don’t even go out are worried about what time I leave the bar? For a progressive city, there are a lot of folks acting like it’s 1950.

C. R.
C. R.
7 days ago

They seem to think everyone will be drinking from 6 pm until 4am or something. It doesn’t even occur to the NIMBYs that people work different hours than they do.

tomS
tomS
7 days ago

Solution go home at 2 AM and drink like you have been doing your whole life here. Nobody wants it either does the city of Los Angeles, they just voted against it last week.

Give the pilot program a chance
Give the pilot program a chance
7 days ago
Reply to  tomS

Plenty of people want it. Put it to a vote. Even Indiana has a last call of 3:00am.

Call It What It Is
Call It What It Is
8 days ago

That staying open until 4am is “a public safety hazard” is an easily disprovable and intellectually dishonest argument. All one needs to do is research the cities with the most drunk driving incidents in the US to see that cities like Las Vegas and New Orleans, which also have bars that stay open well past 2am, do not even appear in the Top 10. Ubers, Lyfts, and taxis will still be in operation during this time, and bus hours can be extended to meet demands- just like at 2am. The opposition to this bill is political and lacks any sort… Read more »

No, Nay Never
No, Nay Never
8 days ago

Perhaps the political argument is correct. Progressive ideology is largely fantasy. They have actually become the NIMBY’s they deride. Drunk, deluded folks are dangerous to themselves and those around them in countless ways. Buses, Ubers and other transportation doesn’t matter. A drunk is a drunk.

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
8 days ago

Doesn’t matter how you decide to spin it, the residents that live and vote here clearly don’t want this and view Scott Wiener as a nuisance. Come November, we will be voting for candidates that actually listen and don’t have personal agendas.

Last edited 8 days ago by Peter Buckley
Give the pilot program a chance
Give the pilot program a chance
8 days ago
Reply to  Peter Buckley

I live here and I do want it.
In the summer it’s not even dark until after 8:30, which means I’m at the beach or hiking until then. By the time I come home and clean up, I’m heading to dinner at 10:30. Dinner ends around midnight and I’ll stop by a bar or two on my way home. Getting kicked out at 1:30 is just provincial. I’m 50. Not all of us eat at 5:00 and go to bed at 10:00.

TomS
TomS
7 days ago

Your kidding just cuz of this pattern that you can change you are ignoring the calls of rationale and detriment of public safety? Jeeez

Give the pilot program a chance
Give the pilot program a chance
7 days ago
Reply to  TomS

To quote Call it Like it is above:
That staying open until 4am is “a public safety hazard” is an easily disprovable and intellectually dishonest argument. All one needs to do is research the cities with the most drunk driving incidents in the US to see that cities like Las Vegas and New Orleans, which also have bars that stay open well past 2am, do not even appear in the Top 10.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
8 days ago

Yes, common sense seems to be increasingly detached from “progressive ideology” as it is currently understood at City Hall.

Michael on Havenhurst Drive
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
8 days ago

Sepi Shyne and John Erickson please resign! Fortunately, we won’t have to look at Lindsey Horvath after November. These three woke political hacks should not be ever elected to anything. They’re enemies of true American values like this ludicrous law created by a totally incompetent politician in San Francisco.

Last edited 8 days ago by Michael on Havenhurst Drive
TomS
TomS
8 days ago

Resign is the way. Srpi and John do you hear anything outside of your woke box that’s causing detriment to the voters.

No, Nay Never
No, Nay Never
8 days ago
Reply to  TomS

Resignation requires some type of dignity a quality neither of these unethical individuals possess.

Michael on Havenhurst Drive
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
8 days ago
Reply to  No, Nay Never

So the other answer is a citizen class action Breach of Public Trust Lawsuit against Shyne, Erickson and Horvath plus the City of West Hollywood. Imagine what that would dig up!

No, Nay Never
No, Nay Never
8 days ago

That could not happen soon enough. Do you have an attorney in mind that would take this on?

Rudi Logan
Rudi Logan
1 day ago

Bitch bitch bitch. Do you ever take practical action on the suggestions you want everyone else to implement?

Randy
Randy
7 days ago

Is it even relevant to you that Sepi voted against this? But continue to blame everything on “SHE.”

Adam
Adam
9 days ago

Nothing good happens after midnight. Only addicts need to party in bars after 2 am which leads to more death and violence. Why would WEHO City Council want this?? SAY NO to this and to the endless real estate developers who want to pollute Sunset Strip with dangerous sky-high billboards with live TV. Stop wasting energy and causing accidents. How about more nature, quiet and parks????

Michael
9 days ago

Not only will LA suffer if this bill becomes law, but all the areas surrounding the other 5 cities (Fresno heeded the warnings and has dropped out) will also experience the splash effect of harm. Only the bars & clubs that choose to remain open until 4 will profit. The harm & costs will occur as inebriated, fatigued drivers return home in early morning commute traffic to the surrounding communities that will be forced to pick up the tab. Text JUSTICE to 313131 to STOP Wiener’s SB 930.

JF1
JF1
9 days ago

Wake up West Hollywood City Council. The majority of your residents have told you that they don’t want this, surrounding cities don’t want this. And kudos to Councilman Paul Krekorian for pointing out the obvious truth. Withdraw your support for this bill!!!!

Minor Detail
Minor Detail
8 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Wasn’t that Paul Koretz?

Rudi Logan
Rudi Logan
1 day ago
Reply to  JF1

Until there’s a city-wide referendum on the matter, we haven’t heard from a majority of anybody.

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