Locals concerned over bill that would extend bar closing time to 4am

HOLLYWOOD HILLS, LOS ANGELES -- The days of Los Angeles' 2 a.m. last call could be numbered -- all because of a new bill that would allow alcohol-serving establishments to stay open until 4 a.m., but some Southern California residents are against the idea.

"There's a new bill that starts a five-year pilot program, so it's only going to be for five years in six cities: Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland," explained Adam Englander, executive director of Greater Los Angeles Hospitality Association.

If SB 905, also known as the 4 a.m. Bar Bill, passed, last call for customers at bars like La Poubelle would be 3:30 a.m. with a closing time of 4 a.m.

It's a change that would be too much for Thousand Oaks resident Sandy Logan.

"My brother and my dad were coming home from work. They got hit by a drunk driver, rear-ended, ended up slamming into the center divider. Luckily, they are alive, and it was a 22-year-old drunk driver who had just left the bar," Logan shared.

That was last year, which is why she came to a town hall meeting Thursday night at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.

There's even service industry employees worried about the extra late-night hours.

"Here are people who are getting -- especially the dish washers, the bus boys the bar backs -- these are people making minimum wage, and they'll be working until 4:30, 5, 5:30 and even 6 in the morning," said resident Alexis Sanchez.

Alcohol Justice, an industry watchdog out of Northern California, answered neighbors' questions.

"When people consume more alcohol, it causes more injury, more violence, more domestic violence; associated with suicide, certainly associated with dangerous driving and motor-vehicle deaths," said Carson Benowitz-Fredericks of Alcohol Justice.

On the flip side, Englander said the extended hours would help stagger people out of bars and would help cut down on illegal house parties.

"It doesn't get passed automatically. It give cities the right to designate areas, if they want to, that can be open until 4 a.m.," Englander added.

State Sen. Scott Wiener proposed the bill, saying nightlife is central to the culture and economy of many cities, and those cities should decide whether or not to extend alcohol sales.