Michigan House passes bill extending closing time for bars, restaurants
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Last call in Michigan could be gaining an additional two hours after House Bill 4213 was recently passed by state House lawmakers, meaning cocktails could be served until 4 a.m. instead of 2 a.m.
“Most people are driving, and I feel like if you know and go out drinking a lot, you would know that most people don’t make the responsible decision of not driving under the influence,” said bar patron Whitney Wright.
The bill is designed to bring in more revenue for bars and restaurants – an industry that has been hit hard because of the coronavirus pandemic. But Chris Poulos who owns White Horse Tavern in Flint isn’t too thrilled at the idea.
“At 4 a.m. the only people out there are the ones that shouldn’t be. They should go home and go to bed, because they’re already drunk,” Poulos said.
Polous is all about people having a good time responsibly, but said that would be an extra two hours people could make some poor decisions, and ones he doesn’t want to hear about the next morning.
“I don’t want people hurt. When they stop you and you blow into the little tube, that’s the gift that keeps on giving,” he said.
As it stands, the bill would require bar owners to apply for a late night permit with the state’s liquor control commission along with an annual $250 fee.
But what about liquor stores? The bill would not allow retailers to sell past 2:00 a.m. One Liquor store owner we spoke with said he’s not worried about sales -- like poulos, he’s worried about poor decision making.
“I would be concerned with the safety aspects of more people potentially out driving after consuming alcohol,” said Brad Khirfan, owner of Khirfan’s Super-K in Flint.
The bill would need to pass the state Senate and be signed by Governor Whitmer before becoming law.
Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.