Last Call! Bill Would Let Downtown Bars And Restaurants Serve Alcohol Until 4am

Oct 3, 2013

Some state lawmakers say Michigan bars and restaurants in downtown areas should be able to serve alcohol until 4am.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, they say it would help attract young people to cities like Detroit, and crack down on illegal alcohol sales.

State Senator Virgil Smith says he represents an area of Detroit that has a problem with illegal speakeasies, where people go to drink into the wee hours of the morning.

“If somebody wants to drink until four in the morning right now in Detroit, Michigan, they can,” he says.  “We have too many ‘blind pigs.’”

Smith has introduced a bill that would let certain downtown restaurant and bar owners buy “extended hours” permits. It would cost about ten thousand dollars a year. And most of that money would go to local police departments.

But alcohol safety groups say no amount of money raised will offset the risk of people getting injured or killed by drunk drivers. They say the bill would increase that risk.