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Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 02/15/2011

Council extends the party for daylight savings day

By Tim Craig

If you're going to lose an hour of sleep for daylight savings time next month, why not lose it in a bar?

That's the message the D.C. Council sent Tuesday when it approved emergency legislation giving bars and nightclubs the option of staying open until 4 a.m. on daylight savings day, which occurs this year on March 13.

The proposal, sponsored by Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward) and Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D), is designed to clear up confusion over what time city bars have to stop serving liquor when the clock moves from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. for daylight savings time.

District bars have to stop serving at 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. That has meant they lose an hour of business on the day daylight savings time begins.

Under emergency legislation approved by a vote of 11 to 1, bars can keep serving this year until 4 a.m. if they pay a $100 registration fee to the city. The bill also includes a provision giving Police Chief Cathy Lanier the power to block an establishment from staying open that extra hour if would be "a danger to the public health, safety or welfare."

"In last several years, I have received a number of complaints from businesses licensed by the (Alcohol Control Board) that they lose an hour of business," Graham said. "This bill addresses those concerns for the upcoming spring."

Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At large) was the only member to vote against the legislation. Mendelson questioned why the council was rushing the proposal as emergency legislation.

"I am not aware of this being a problem in the past 35 years of Home Rule," Mendelson said. "They lose an hour when we spring forward, but then we are not proposing to take back the hour they gain in the fall."

By Tim Craig  | February 15, 2011; 11:51 AM ET
Categories:  Jim Graham, Tim Craig  
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Comments

How utterly ridiculous.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 15, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey this will probably be their solution if Metro cuts back its hours on weekends. They'll let the bars stay open all night and then by the time everyone is ready to go home, Metro will be ready.

Posted by: blankspace | February 15, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Grew up in the district but soooo glad I live in Va...what a waste of time and manpoweer over this subject...

First of all, say at 3:55am I can't imagine a line of people ready for a last call...and if by chance this is the case, those people have serious alcohol issues...

Even on New Years' Eve there is not a clamor for any establish to serve til 4am...Why Now?????

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 15, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

They shouldn't HAVE to close at any time. They should be able to operate 24 hrs a day if they so choose. Why is this regulated while other businesses can set their own hours. Citizens don't need to be told when and where they can patron "certain" businesses.

Posted by: brianmuller | February 15, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

More people out driving after a extra hour of drinking is all we need to fill our budget gap...SMH

Posted by: shadon1 | February 15, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

So my question is will the City Council pass emergency legislation to have last call an hour eariler when daylight savings time comes to an end in the fall. By cutting off an hour earlier the net impact would be zero.

Oh, wait, if they had simply thought of that in the first place, then they wouldn't of had to jump through any hoops. Typical pandering political hacks.

Posted by: Ret-Coastie | February 15, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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