California bill extending alcohol sale hours to 4 am clears initial hurdles

California bill extending alcohol sale hours to 4 am clears initial hurdles

It is a fact that excessive alcohol consumption can cause a number of physical and mental problems. However, it seems that California legislators are least bothered about the harmful effects of drinking. Now, the California State Senate Governmental Organization Committee has passed a bill that would allow bars to remain open as late as 4 a.m. The bill — SB 905 — which was introduced by Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco has been forwarded to the California Senate’s Appropriations Committee.

The legislation cleared initial hurdles even after opponents presented compelling, peer-reviewed data on harms and costs that would result from two additional hours of alcohol sales. Surely, the decision has disappointed local watchdog groups like Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA). According to CAPA, the decision has vehemently ignored public health and safety, as the additional hours will only encourage people to consume more alcohol, thereby benefiting the bar and club owners.

As per the proposed legislation, the extended hours would be applicable in six cities – Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Long Beach. If the bill clears all hurdles, the new timings would come into effect from January 2020, giving enough time to the cities to prepare for the extra sale. As per the bill, the extended hours would run for a five-year period, post which the cities will decide whether to continue it or not.

Pros and cons

The development, which will impact nearly 76 percent of the state, attracted a mixed reaction. While local hospitality groups welcomed the move as they believe the bill will bolster the cities’ nightlife and compete with other major cities in the U.S. and abroad, the opponents resented the legislation estimating it to cause increased street violence, traffic collisions, and emergency room visits.

California is among the states that attract a large number of tourists from across the country. With a wide range of bars, clubs, restaurants and party places, the state offers a fun getaway to people. However, with alcohol being the center of any celebration or occasion, California also bears the consequences. With a rise in alcohol-related crashes in recent years, the state witnesses over 10,500 alcohol-related deaths and suffers $34 billion in costs every year.

The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a serious problem, which seems to be getting worse every year. In recent years, cases involving DUI convictions have indicated strong evidences of alcoholism. However, it’s a fact that those behind the wheel repeat their DUI offenses, suggesting that they are perhaps unaware of their addiction.

Overcoming alcoholism

Drinking alcohol is not a crime in the U.S. In fact, it is a socially accepted substance. However, legalization and cultural acceptance do not reduce the harms caused by alcohol. Apart from causing health problems, alcohol abuse and dependency can lead to a plethora of social, legal, and economic issues. Alcoholism not only destroys an individual, but also ruins the entire family. Therefore, it is necessary to have self-control while drinking alcohol. Every individual should be well aware of his/her limit and should not take the risk of crossing it.

For those who are suffering from alcohol addiction, it is important to seek immediate medical intervention as complete recovery from the condition can be achieved through professional treatment. Hence, if you or your loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, approach the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to get in touch with the finest alcohol rehab centers in California. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online with one of our experts to know about the best alcohol treatment in California.

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