LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Dozens of people rallied outside Los Angeles City Hall on Tuesday morning to protest a bill that would allow California bars to stay open until 4 a.m.
“My biggest concern is that passing this SB384 is going to increase tragedies for communities, for families,” said Lisa Bridges.
Sonny Skyhawk’s granddaughter was killed by a drunken driver when she was 21. “It’s a heartache that never heals, unfortunately, and you take it with you for the rest of your life,” Skyhawk explained.
He said having bars stay open later means more drunken drivers on the roads at a crucial time when people are driving to work or parents taking their kids to school.
“People that are going to work at 4 o’clock in the morning are going to encounter, unfortunately, these people that are just leaving those bars and are intoxicated,” Skyhawk added.
Opponents said the government is choosing profits over public safety. “Our first-responders don’t really have the capacity as it is. I don’t care what city you’re in; they are stretched to the max,” Bridges said.
Passing SB384 will lead to more vehicle crashes, emergency room admissions and alcohol-related assaults and injuries, opponents claimed.
They also added that SB384 would provide no extra funding to help local governments pay for services to handle the problems two more hours of alcohol consumption will cause.
The California Senate already passed SB384, which is now headed to the Assembly for a vote July 5.