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Lawmakers Consider Extending Last Call To 4 AM In Cities Across California

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - People line up outside the bars in Midtown on Friday nights. No matter where you are in California the party stops at last call around 2 a.m., but some say that's too early.

"We're back now because this bill matters, nightlife matters and we wanted to get this done," said Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).

Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Matt Haney want to test the waters on a later last call. They're introducing legislation to allow - but not require - seven pilot cities to extend last call to 4 a.m.

"This is what I do, this what I love. If the party's there, you don't want to play to a room of 10 people at 4 o'clock in the morning but if the club's packed until 4 o'clock in the morning bring it on, let's have some fun," said Hans Eberbach, singer for band Joy & Madness. "There's a saying that nothing good happens after 2 a.m. but again, it's personal responsibility like in all things. We hope that person would take an Uber or a cab and be responsible and care about someone else other than their own life."

Eberbach is all for a longer nightlife but hopes people party responsibly. That's something Chris Leister knows isn't always the case. Leister lost his son Scott when a drunk driver going over 110 miles an hour hit the car Scott was riding in. Scott was 21 and had gotten a designated driver that night.

"It's insane to think letting people drink another two hours until 4 a.m. is good for the public," said Leister.

Meantime, Senator Weiner says Senate Bill 930 aims to help struggling bars and restaurants bounce back from the pandemic.

"We know that nightlife is so important for our culture and our economy. This is a major sector that employs a lot of people these are overwhelmingly small businesses," said Sen. Wiener.

"Nobody will ever make up the loss of my son. Nobody can ever give him back to us," said Leister.

SB 930 leaves control in terms of decision-making and applies only to the seven cities whose Mayors or City Councils have expressed interest in pursuing later hours: San Francisco, Oakland, West Hollywood, Coachella, Cathedral City, Fresno, and Palm Springs.

Each pilot city will decide for itself whether to remain at California's blanket 2 a.m. closing time or extend later.

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