DENVER – Lawmakers rejected a proposal to allow Colorado cities and towns to extend bar hours after the legislator sponsoring the bill Monday asked them to vote no.
“I think that it’s time to go back to the drawing board on this, and so what I’m going to ask for is to go ahead and put me out of my misery and please just kill this bill,” Denver Democratic Rep. Crisanta Duran said.
After the vote, she said she didn’t think she had enough time to work out a compromise to address concerns.
The proposal would have let municipalities decide whether to let bars stay open until 4:30 a.m. Current law prohibits the sale of alcohol from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Supporters said the goal was to give local governments more control and potentially reduce large, unruly crowds let out at the traditional closing time. It’s an issue of particular concern in Lower Downtown Denver, a bar and nightclub district where crowds let out of bars about 2 a.m.
Denver Democratic Rep. Paul Rosenthal supported the bill, saying it would allow people to leave bars on their own at different times, “instead of a big jam of people hitting the streets all at the same time.”
But opponents didn’t buy that argument and said letting bars stay open longer would simply lead to more drinking.
“The later bars stay open, the more drinking that happens, the more likelihood there is to have accidents, DUIs, assaults and neighborhood impacts,” Boulder Democratic Rep. K.C. Becker said.