California Bill to extend drinking curfew

Juan Mejia

On Aug. 29, 2018, the California State Assembly passed a bill that will extend the sale of alcohol to 4 a.m.

Bars, clubs, venues and restaurants will have this new curfew tested for 5 years in cities including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Sacramento, West Hollywood, San Francisco, Oakland, Cathedral City, Palm Springs and Coachella.

Legislators signed off on Bill 905 which was first brought forward by Sen. Scott Weiner and now just needs to make its way to Gov. Jerry Brown for the green light.

Scott Weiner took to Twitter after the passing and shared that he believes the signing of his bill is a huge step forward for the state. He also tweeted, “We will make the case to the Governor that cities should be able to decide for themselves what kind of nightlife makes sense.”

Scott Wiener
Scott Wiener's bill was just passed allowing the drinking time to be extended to 4 a.m.

California’s 2 a.m. curfew law dates back to the 1930s after the end of Prohibition. This is an outdated 80-year-old law that does not have many reasons for existing in the first place.

The most notable difference is an increase in nightlife business to other states whose curfews are at 3 a.m. compared to the 2 a.m. states.

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Mixed reactions are common regarding this change.

“I have always wanted more clarity on the curfew,” local musician Angel Garcilazo said. “I find it odd that they try to restrict it’s sale. The time frame is silly to me and I want to know the government’s reasoning behind it.”

In a state full of tourism, thriving nightlife and popular local music scenes, it doesn’t make sense to have such an early curfew to sell alcohol. The curfew affects the way events are scheduled and the rush to finish things up.

“Honestly I wish they would stop selling alcohol at midnight,” Anaheim Elementary School District employee Angel Merino said. “I don’t know, people are reckless and I feel it would help make the streets safer. I doubt the added two hours to curfew would make much a difference though, so I am indifferent on the change.”

As an avid show and concert attendee, I can see firsthand how this curfew affects a performer’s stage time and the crowd rushing to buy drinks. This extended curfew will have a positive effect in the entertainment scene.

Although options such as Uber and Lyft are commonplace, an increase in DUIs, littering, accidents and crime will most likely occur.

With the new extended curfew, people will be prompted to stay out later. Communities will have their share of people against this bill and blame it for these changes. However, that initial rush will eventually die down and things will continue to be regulated as normal.