Extending Bar Hours=Increased Harm, Burden on Communities

May 13, 2015

Alcohol Justice has released a new fact sheet detailing extensive research on the harm and costs associated with extending bar hours. Proposals to extend late-night bar hours in several states, including Nebraska, Michigan, Colorado and California have been rejected by state lawmakers, for good reason: extending hours of alcoholic beverage sales increases alcohol-related harm.

Pennsylvania State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phlia, recently proposed issuing extended use permits in the state that would allow bars to stay open from the current limit, 2am, to 4am. Harris makes the claim that other proponents of late-night bar hours have made: that allowing extended bar hours will help the economy and raise tax revenues. So far, the PA legislature doesn't appear to support the proposal. Though it included a 10% increase to liquor licensing fees to apply for the late-night use permit, the modest fee increase would be unlikely to cover the increased municipal cost of crime prevention and courts, emergency room visits, and other costs associated with increased consumption.

Research has shown that increasing bar hours results in increased impaired driving and collisions; violent crime; injuries; and nuisance issues such as increased noise and litter. It also places increased burden on local law enforcement agencies, which must contend with more problems, often without an accompanying increase in resources to do so. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends maintaining or increasing limits on days and hours of alcohol beverage sales to limit alcohol-related harm due to excessive consumption.

Download the new fact sheet here.