Could last call for alcohol be extended until 4 a.m.? - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Could last call for alcohol be extended until 4 a.m.?

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(10/07/13) - It's a subject that's got a lot of people talking. Could last call for alcohol be extended to 4 a.m.?

State lawmakers are debating legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to sell alcohol until 4 in the morning, but there are some restrictions.

ABC12 News talked to people on both sides. Some think it will boost the economy. Others believe it will just create problems.

Extending last call until 4 a.m. may not sit well with people who serve alcohol.

"You close a bar at 4 and you say that's the last call, you're not going to get out until 5, probably wouldn't be the best idea, people want to be home with their families," said Zach Orr, a server at Blackstone's in downtown Flint.

The expanded hours would only apply in cities with a downtown development district, like Flint. Business owners would have to pay about $10,000 a year for a special permit and meet certain security requirements.

Supporters say this would be a big boost for local economies.

"I think it's a brilliant idea, the more we can do for our economy I think the better off we are," said Dan Stewart of Owosso.

Most of the money from permit sales would go to local police departments.

Some state leaders believe extending the hours could cause some major concerns for police.

"The concern is always from the standpoint of maybe a law enforcement concern and those are the issues that the legislature really concerns itself with from a licensing standpoint," said State Sen. David Robertson of the 26th district.

Some businesses argue that it's hard enough to keep customers until 2 a.m.

"We get out of here by 1, even Friday or Saturday, so if we can't get them in until 2, why would we open till 4, you know? We're just going to be standing around for three hours and missing out on sleep time and family time," Orr said.

Other people we talked to say they believe extending alcohol sales could also increase the drunken driving rate.

Right now, liquor sales are prohibited between 2:30 and 7 a.m.

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