Bill That Would Have Let Oakland Bars Stay Open Until 3 a.m. Fails

Closing time will remain at 2 a.m. for the foreseeable future.


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Image by Kristan Lawson

A bill that would have allowed bars in Oakland to stay open until 3 a.m. failed to pass in the state Assembly this week.

Had it passed, Senate Bill 58 — authored by Scott Wiener (San Francisco, D) — would have directed the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to begin authorizing extended-hours licenses through a five-year pilot program starting in 2022. 

Wiener initially stated that extended bar hours would boost local economies as well as “culture, music, tourism, small businesses, and middle-class jobs" — and that the current 2 a.m. closing time is "rigid" and "outdated," as reported by the San Francisco Examiner

In order to pass, SB 58 would have required 41 "yes" votes by Assemblymembers, but on Sept. 13 received only 29 "yes" votes, along with 35 "no" votes and fifteen instances of "no vote recorded."

Had SB 58 passed, it would have permitted 3 a.m. bar closings in ten cities statewide including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Coachella, Fresno, Long Beach, and Oakland.

An earlier version of the bill which would have permitted 4 a.m. closures was vetoed in September 2018 by then-Governor Jerry Brown.

In his veto message, as reported by the Sacramento Bee, Brown wrote that: "these two extra hours will result in more drinking. The businesses and cities in support of this bill see that as a good source of revenue. The California Highway Patrol, however, strongly believes that this increased drinking will lead to more drunk driving. California's laws regulating late night drinking have been on the books since 1913. I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem."

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