A new petition has started that will allow California bars to stay open two hours later.
Cheers! There’s promising news for you, West Coast. Last call might be 4 a.m. now.
California is holding onto a law first passed 80 years ago. As a result of a 1935 ruling, Californians follow a strict 2 a.m. last call, dampening the lively spirit center to west coast nightlife. Places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Hollywood celebrate their distinct subcultures—each city offers unique after-hours options for California residents and tourists alike. Scott Wiener, a California Senator, proposes what is now Senate Bill 384. Also known as the Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act (LOCAL), the petition allows greater local government power for the nightlife famous to the West Coast.
Instead of affecting the entire state, the LOCAL Act lets each city make their own rules on last call. In addition, SB 384 enables municipalities to “opt in”—meaning each municipality decides whether to have “pure local control” or not. Ideally, cities set their own last call any time between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. on the bill’s terms. The current last call time is 2 a.m., with zero alcohol selling past a post-6 a.m. timeframe. If businesses approve, obtaining a special ABC permit is required. Extending the 4 a.m. last call time opens more doors for the nightlife culture in California.
In addition to supporting local businesses and tourism, a 4 a.m. last call increases tax revenue. More money brings a breath of fresh air to areas not focused on entertainment. Prior attempts in an effort to amend the old law are still unsuccessful; common concerns about pushing a 4 a.m. cut-off focuses on drunk driving. If local authorities handle the later hours, the same methods controlling the 2 a.m. time will work for the 4 a.m. time. The Los Angeles Times calls the 4 a.m. proposed time a “last call that works for locals.” SB 384 now has 500 signatures, officially verifying public approval in light of a new change.
Want more information? You can read and sign the bill here.