Keep the bars open

Currently, patrons at bars and restaurants have to head home at 2 a.m. But revelers might have extra time at the bar if Michigan lawmakers have their way.
Apr 17, 2013

The Senate is currently looking at legislation that would allow a licensee located within a central business district in a city to sell or furnish alcohol from 2-4 a.m. on any day if a $10,000 license has been obtained from the state.

We are cautiously optimistic that approval of this measure could have a great benefit for businesses choosing to purchase an extended license.

For starters, by allowing people to stay past the 2 a.m. bar closing time, they are encouraging more business.

We are all for the success of our local food and beverage service establishments. And by providing them the freedom to stay open longer, they can be assured more opportunity for income.

Another benefit is that the cities where these new 4 a.m. closing time businesses are in line to benefit from the hefty license fees.

In a time when many communities are strapped for cash, 5 percent of the fee collected would be disbursed to the cities where the extended-hours permits are located for administration costs, and 85 percent would be disbursed to the police departments of cities where the extended-hours permits are located for enforcement efforts.

One thing that needs to be addressed if this is to become a reality, however, is the safety and regulation aspect of it.

While there are measures in place, such as the requirement for on-site security from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., and the requirement for video surveillance systems, we would like the state to make sure that everything is fleshed out to ensure that patrons are safe.

A lingering concern we have is whether this could increase drunken driving and its related crashes. There are few ways to really determine whether this would be the case before the change would go into effect, but surely police agencies and bar owners would work together to ensure that early-morning patrons are being responsible.

Safety should be prioritized over the economic boost, but we think this can be worked out by responsible establishment practices.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.
 

Comments

Say no to new taxes

Bad idea! It'll put the drunks on the road when a lot of working people are heading to their jobs.

jjabrahms

Not to slap your bad idea in the face... but if you are not a working person i don't think they serve drinks for free... ;)

rukidding

Where to start, most of the respectable establishments that serve alcohol in "this area" are almost empty or closed by midnight as it is. I guess state wide, bigger cities, and for real dives, this may mean a little more business and of course the 10 grand additional license fees can't hurt the coffers.
The die hard drinkers that would be consuming at this hour are likely to go out and play bumper cars with each other; not many others out that time of morning. If they get caught with DWI then that also helps the local revenues; real cost in drunk driving is very high. For those that don't drive it will mean more dollars for the cab companies; tough duty driving drunks around at all hours but it goes with the job.
For many places I can see a real down side to this but not the tri-cities; can't imagine but one or two bars that would even consider this and they deserve the clientele they have; be a Sporty and give us all a Tip on getting down the Highway while avoiding Yellow Jackets.

MeanSmith

Great idea! Now the GHPD will have more drunk drivers to arrest, thus making the city more profits!! Bravo!!

GHJames

You make it sound like a bad thing that the police do the job our tax dollars pay them to do. Or maybe there wasn't quite as much sarcasm as I thought I was hearing there. Haha

1dreamer2

This is just stupid. The stupidest thing I've heard in a long time. Wow the government is getting so desperate now a days to make money. Ive been at the bar at 2pm before and usually by then its late and most everyone is done drinking and ready to go home. I dont think bars will generate much revenue after 2pm. Stupid stupid.

GHJames

LOL! 2pm! Stupid! 2pm! Stupid! I just spit milk out my nose! I love you 1dreamer2!

H M

Ha ha! Hilarious!! And dreamer typed pm TWICE-

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