Last Call Extension Bill Generates Controversy

It’s no secret that Los Angeles and Hollywood and the surrounding areas thrive on nightlife. However, this nightlife may be contributing to DUI arrests and accidents that occur when someone leaves a club buzzed. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 31% of fatal drunk driving accidents occur on the weekend. It is also believed that there are generally more intoxicated drivers on the road between midnight and 4  a.m. Fatal accidents are more likely to occur at night than during the day.

These statistics may be behind the opposition to a new bill in the state legislature that will extend last call from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. SB 905 is set to come before the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

The bill has generated a lot of support, particularly from the mayors of cities which this bill would impact. Those cities include Los Angeles, Long Beach, West Hollywood, Palm Springs, Sacramento, and Oakland.

Opposing the bill is city councilman Paul Kortez. He spoke out against the bill and was supported by such organizations as the California Alcohol Policy Alliance, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and actor Kurtwood Smith.

SB 905 would allow cities a 5-year pilot program to extend the serving of alcohol from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Participation would be left to individual cities.

Smith, who played the father on That 70s Show, whose popular line was referring to his son as a “dumbass” brought the pop-culture reference back when speaking about the bill.

“Only a dumbass would value nightlife over all life and vote yes on Weiner’s dangerous seven-city, five-year experiment,” Smith said.

Opponents of the bill believe that it would bring about more drunk driving accidents not just to cities surrounding Los Angeles, but to other cities as well.

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