A new bill that would allow bars in California to extend their closing time to 4 a.m. has cleared initial hurdles in the state Senate. Sponsored by Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco, the legislation – SB 905 – has been forwarded to the California Senate’s Appropriations Committee after being approved by the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.
According to the proposed bill, six cities – Sacramento, Long Beach, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and West Hollywood – will be allowed to extend alcohol sales hours starting from January 2020. Experts say the new extended timings would run for a period of five years after which, these six cities may decide to continue with the law or scrap it away altogether.
The bill has received huge support from local businesses in the hospitality industry, citing huge benefits to the city’s nightlife. Kevin Carroll, executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, believes the move would put the Golden Gate City on par with other American metropolises like Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta, and Louisville that permit alcohol sales till 4 a.m. Transport companies such as Uber and Lyft have extended their support to the bill to ensure road safety and prevent drunk driving.
However, not everybody seems to be in favor of the bill. Opponents of the bill have argued that the extension of bar serving hours will increase the incidence of binge drinking and spread nuisance across the state, which is already reeling under the alcohol addiction crisis.
Local watchdog groups like Alcohol Justice has opposed the legislation saying it would lead to more cases of road rage and increased visits to emergency rooms. “It is profoundly disturbing that this committee will not even acknowledge the current annual catastrophe of alcohol-related harm in California. Instead, they approve a measure that will increase it,” said Michael Scippa, public affairs director, Alcohol Justice.
Statistics show that over 10,500 Californians die annually from alcohol-related reasons, causing a burden of $34 billion on the state. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious public menace, which seems to deteriorate each year. In recent years, investigation of hundreds of cases involving DUI convictions has suggested strong evidence of alcohol addiction. However, the truth is that those who steer the wheel repeatedly under the influence of alcohol are probably unaware of their addiction.
Fighting menace of alcohol addiction
Millions of Americans nationwide struggle with drinking problems. Right from dealing with a problem in life to simply being a part of a get-together, alcohol marks its presence as weary seekers look for relief. An increasingly large number of people from all walks of life are falling prey to alcohol. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 136.7 million Americans aged 12 or older reported current use of alcohol during the year, while 65.3 million reported binge alcohol use in the past month.
Sadly, most unsuspecting drinkers fail to recognize the signs of addiction. While drinking for pleasure can push toward addiction, some people fall into the trap accidentally. However, in the end, everything depends on one’s individual tolerance levels. Experts suggest it could take anywhere between one week to several months for addiction to gain a stronghold in a person. No wonder, excessive consumption of alcohol makes it the fourth major preventable cause of death in the U.S.
If you or your loved one is battling alcoholism, which continues to interfere in daily life activities, get in touch with Sovereign Health of California that offers a variety of customized treatments for alcohol abuse. Clinicians at our top-notch alcohol rehab centers are trained to identify the underlying causes and prescribe effective treatments as well as group psychotherapy based on a patient’s requirements. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representative to know more about our evidence-based treatment programs for alcoholism.