Plan to Extend Atlanta Bars and Nightclubs Hours Gets Tabled

A proposal introduced by Atlanta City Councilman Julian Bond to extend bar hours for local nightclubs and drinking establishments has been tabled amid opposition from some community activists who say the extended hours would add to the problem of DUIs in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

“We understand that there’s pending or proposed legislation extending bar hours, and we’re asking the committee to file that legislation,” Jill Arrington, Regional Director of  Mothers Against Drunk Driving told Atlanta City Council members. “M.A.D.D. opposes any proposal to extend the closing time for the sale of any alcohol.”

Atlanta nightclub owners were hopeful that the extension on business hours in the plan proposed by Atlanta City Councilman Julian Bond would be approved. Bond has suggested that bars and nightclubs be allowed to remain open until 4 a.m. Currently, last call in these establishments is 2:30 a.m.

“This has several potential impacts on our city. There is a potential source to raising revenue…it could be very stimulating to some of the late-night bars and restaurants,” said City Councilman Michael Bond. 

In 2003 Atlanta’s Alcohol Technical Advisory Group, in response to a dramatic uptick in incidents of crime spilling over from night clubs into Buckhead streets was successful in getting an ordinance passed to curtail drinking hours in public bars and nightclubs which some say seriously hindered the viability of a number of establishments in the area.
Bond’s proposal is the second attempt to get that ordinance overturned as City Councilwoman Keisha Sean Waites introduced the Atlanta Hospitality Act to loosen restrictions. 

“The incidents of crime, of the late DUIs has been curtailed, so that is going to be part of the discussion…how do you balance that?” Bond told FOX 5. 

The proposal includes plans to pay for surveillance cameras in areas with historic crime patterns. Bond said the extra revenue could also be used to pay for programs centered around public safety like APD’s take-home car program. 

If passed the ordinance would go into effect on Dec. 31.



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