LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2018 / PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE / – California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA), Alcohol Justice, the Institute for Public Strategies and Behavioral Health Services in Hollywood sponsored an open community meeting and debate last Thursday for the residents of Los Angeles and West Hollywood on the possibility of allowing the establishments that serve alcohol in California to remain open until 4 am
The forum was organized in response to the fourth attempt by the state legislature over the past six years to change the state’s policy on the timing of the sale of alcohol in bars, restaurants and nightclubs. At the end of the lively and passionate discussion, an overwhelming majority of those present were convinced that the current law, SB 905, like the previous three that failed, will propagate excessive alcohol consumption, loss of life, injuries and discomfort in all the state. The next steps were also announced: tell the elected leaders of California and the lobby in favor of “late night entertainment”: Stop the bar closing act at 4 a.m.!
Panelist Carson Benowitz-Fredericks, Alcohol Justice’s research manager, presented data revealing the following:
-California suffers more annual alcohol-related damage than any other state;
-123,841 years of lost life potential (chronic causes);
-180,017 years of lost life potential (acute causes);
-US $ 34,000 million cost to the public;
-US $ 13,700 million cost to the government;
-Fatalities from drunk driving are a chronic and growing problem in California;
-There can be no “local control” in alcohol policy. The damage caused by a city’s decision to modify its closure schedules affects all surrounding communities.
In a written statement, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz said: “Although we want our local businesses to prosper, serving alcohol until 4 a.m. will not do any good.If this is approved, we can expect more fatalities for drivers. alcoholics, more drunk driving injuries and more alcohol-related deaths. ” He added: “No district is an island, and it is scandalous to say that this is a law that is left to local discretion, when its impact will be propagated by adjacent jurisdictions, which will have to face the cost of the very expensive public security law: the cost of life and death. “
An analysis, evaluated by experts, of the U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force, chaired by Dr. Jonathan Fielding, MPH, MA, MBA, Distinguished Professor of the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA and the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, revealed that each two-hour increase in Closing schedules result in more injuries due to vehicle collisions and more income in emergency rooms (Hahn et al., 2010).
Another panelist, Dr. Deborah Allen, ScD, deputy director of the Office of Health Promotion of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, presented compelling data on Alcohol Outlet Density and Alcohol-Related Consequences by City and Community alcohol sales and alcohol-related consequences by city and community) in Los Angeles County, 2013, a department report published in 2016.
“Los Angeles and West Hollywood have a very high density of bars, clubs and restaurants that already influence the safety and livability of our neighborhoods,” said Sarah Blanch, regional director of the Institute for Public Strategies. “The communities in which we live and work are concerned about the possibility that more alcohol-related problems will increase if it is sold for more hours.”
Gilbert Mora, prevention coordinator at Behavioral Health Services in Hollywood, said: “The research is clear: Extending the closure schedule and eliminating restrictions for sales schedules is associated with increases in serious alcohol-related problems, among them, violence, income in emergency rooms, driving affected by alcohol and vehicle crashes “.
In California, more than 75% of alcohol-related deaths are the result of homicides, poisoning, falls and vehicular collisions, and all this could increase if the usual cutoff time for unrestrained alcohol consumption were extended to 4 a.m. The level of drunkenness continues to increase between 30 and 90 minutes after the last drink, so for many drivers who drank until 4 am, the drunken peak could be at 5 or 5.30 am, which is a usual schedule of the beginning of the working day for workers from many parts of the state.
“The negative cumulative effects on our communities have already started to degrade our quality of life and will continue to degrade it, “said panelist Oren Katz, local councilman for Hollywood Hills West.” We can not get, as our mayor would, ‘walkable streets,’ if our police department is so thin, if we are in the midst of a growing housing crisis, if we have to deal with regulating the legalization of drugs and if we have to fight against the proposal to extend the hours of authorization to sell alcohol until 4 am “. SB 905 hearing on the California Senate Committee on Governmental Organization scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 2018. All those who oppose the change of the schedule policy for the sale of alcohol in California are encouraged to visit AlcoholJustice .org and TAKE ACTION to tell committee members to stop SB 905 and choose the lives of California over the nightlife trade.