Residents mixed on bill to extend last call to 4 AM at Palm Springs bars

Bill could extend last call in Palm Spri

Palm Springs will consider allowing bars to stay open an extra 2 hours, until 4 a.m., if Senate Bill 905 makes it through the assembly and is signed by the governor.

The proposed legislation would be effective January 1, 2021 and some people living in the Coachella Valley have mixed emotions towards the idea.

"I think that's great, just gives people more time to have fun," said one bar patron.

"That's a ridiculous idea. I can't see why people would want to stay out until 4 in the morning," another bar patron said.

Palm Springs city council voted unanimously to be a part of a five year pilot study, which also includes the cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Oakland. Council member Geoff Kors took the lead in Palm Springs joining those cities.

"If the bill is signed into law, then it will come back to the city. We'll discuss it in a council meeting, we'll get public input, we'll meet with the restaurants and bars and resident groups and business groups to get input. Then we'll make a decision if we want to do it, and if we do, how we want to implement it," Kors said.

One bar owner says he's interested in his bar being considered for extended hours.

"I'm more of a night person than a day person, but also I would expect to be closed for four hours, from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. because of the health department wanting us clean up," said Larry Bitoni, owner of Hair of the Dog in downtown Palm Springs.

Some people are raising concerns over the potential for increased DUI opportunities. 

"People are coming out from pubs drunk, possibly. They're getting on the roads, they're not as conscious as they should be, and as they're coming back from the pubs, people are leaving and going to work. I can see that being a problem too," said Tracy Powelczak, from Redondo Beach.

Kors said he did speak to law enforcement who told him it could be helpful to have people leave bars at staggering hours instead of that 2 a.m. closing time at most bars.

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia voted yes on the bill. It is expected to go back to the Assembly after amendments are made. The final result should be known by September. 

You can track the bill's legislative progress here. 

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