Demas Law Group: Proposed Legislation to Keep Bars Open

Share Article

John Demas, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer, discusses the implications of Senator Mark Leno’s proposal to allow businesses to continue serving alcohol until 4 a.m. This proposed legislation has come under fire from certain advocacy groups that believe the law would contribute to more drunk driving deaths and injuries.

Demas Law Group: Proposed Legislation to Keep Bars Open

It is possible that these extended hours could lead to further tragedies involving individuals who choose to drink and drive

Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, has proposed legislation that would allow business owners to continue serving alcohol until 4:00 a.m. Current law prohibits establishments that serve alcohol from selling it after 2:00 a.m.

Senate Bill 635 would put California on a par with nine other states and two dozen cities that have late hour laws. Senator Leno claims that the “dynamic social activities” of many California cities need the boost that later hours would provide. He claims his legislation would allow large cities such as San Francisco to expand night life and create jobs and tax revenue.

The bill would require jurisdictions interested in extending allowable service hours to submit a plan to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The bill would not apply to liquor stores and other establishments that sell alcohol to go.

The California Restaurant Association, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and the California Music and Culture Association have all come out in support of the bill. However, other groups may find problems with extending alcohol service hours.

Current statistics show that the majority of drunk driving accidents occur in the early morning hours. The rate of night-time accidents is four times that of those in the daylight hours. This legislation would provide two more nighttime hours for drivers to legally drink in bars and restaurants before getting behind the wheel, possibly leading to more drunk driving accidents, fatalities and injuries.

John Demas notes, “Balancing the interests of business and the public is always difficult. While business owners may support longer hours for the serving of alcoholic beverages, statistics show that most drunk driving accidents happen at night and on the weekends. It is possible that these extended hours could lead to further tragedies involving individuals who choose to drink and drive. It could also lead to more lawsuits against businesses under dram shop liability laws. The statistics should be carefully examined in cities and states with extended alcohol service hours to determine if the risk of higher drunk driving accidents is worth the possible increase in revenue to those businesses.”

About Demas Law Group: John Demas is a senior attorney at Demas Law Group, a Sacramento personal injury law firm that represents victims of drunk driving accidents. Demas Law Group also represents victims of other types of vehicular accidents, such as truck, motorcycle and SUV crashes, as well as victims of nursing home abuse, defective products, and dog bites. Demas Law Group offers free consultations to all accident injury victims to discuss their cases and determine the best course of action to recover damages for their injuries.

Sources: KCRA News, “State Sen. Leno proposes expanding alcohol service to 4 a.m.,” March 13, 2013.

MADD, “Drunk Driving Statistics.”

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Sylvia Zawadzka
Follow us on
Visit website