SAN RAFAEL, California, Aug. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA), Alcohol Justice, and Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz hosted a press event at Los Angeles City Hall yesterday to oppose SB 905 (Wiener) – the 4 a.m. bar bill. Emceed by actor/activist Kurtwood Smith, speakers representing groups and organizations throughout the state reported on the city and statewide public health and safety threats the bill would create by allowing a patchwork quilt of cities – including Los Angeles – to extend alcohol sales to 4 a.m.
“While we want our local businesses to thrive, no good can come from serving alcohol until 4 a.m. If this passes we can expect more DUIs, more drunk driving injuries and more alcohol related deaths,” stated Councilmember Koretz. “No district is an island and it is outrageous to call this a local discretion bill when its impacts will spill over into adjacent jurisdictions that will be stuck with the very expensive public safety bill – the cost of life and death. For these reasons and more, I am opposed to SB 905. Because public safety should not be for sale.”
The key message at the core of the protest was that if passed and signed into law by Governor Brown, SB 905 would launch a dangerous nine-city, five-year experiment that could expose over 76% of California’s population to increased alcohol-related harm.
“Today we are here to speak with a loud, collective voice that residents of Los Angeles WILL NOT be lab rats in Senator Scott Wiener’s 4 a.m. bar bill experiment,” said Kurtwood Smith, Actor and Activist. “And neither will the residents of the 8 other cities and surrounding “splash zones” throughout the state that this bill threatens. Only a dumba** would value nightlife over all life and vote YES for this bill. California does not need Wiener’s dangerous nine-city, five-year experiment,” he added.
“We hope Senator Wiener and the rest of our state legislators finally hear us loudly, CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES DO NOT WANT A 4 A.M. LAST CALL,” stated Brenda Villanueva, Prevention Coordinator, Pueblo y Salud, Member of CAPA. “All the peer-reviewed science says that increases in hours of sale that are two hours or greater will lead to increases in excessive alcohol use and related problems. Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher: Por favor, take a stand for public health over private profits and KILL THIS BILL.”
California currently suffers over 10,500 alcohol-related deaths and $34 billion in costs annually. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reported recently that fatal DUI is a chronic, worsening problem for the state. Between 2014 and 2016, alcohol-related crash deaths rose 21%. That number can only go up with two additional hours of alcohol consumption. Thus, the only benefit of selling alcohol between 2 and 4 a.m. will be greater profits to bar, restaurant, and club owners in the party zones the bill will create. While the public and all levels of government will be forced to continue to cover the costs of mitigating the harms that follow.
“In just one year – 2016 – we saw a 16.2% surge in traffic fatalities with over 1000 people losing their lives in DUI related crashes,” said Lynne Brown, Program Manager/Law Enforcement Liaison, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). “Putting freshly impaired drivers on the road at 4 or 5 a.m., with commuters and carpoolers, highway workers and families will, based on data from areas who have adopted later service hours for alcohol, most certainly lead to more deaths on California roadways. For that reason, MADD California is opposed to SB 905.”
The data most often referred to and consistently ignored or dismissed by Wiener & his supporters comes from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) task force led by Jonathan Fielding, M.D., M.P.H., M.A., M.B.A, Distinguished Professor UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. The U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force found in a peer-reviewed, global meta-analysis that every 2-hour increase in last-call times results in greater vehicle crash injuries and E.R. admissions. (Hahn et al., 2010) Dr. Fielding stated, “…I have no reason to believe that an increase in hours of sale anywhere in the U.S. would have different results.”
“It is known that there is no transportation on LA Metro and BART during late night hours and only minimal local bus service. And research shows that Uber will not save us. Car services will be prohibitively expensive for these “Night Owls” and will lead to more impaired driving,” said Keith Nakata, Co-Chair of The Mid City West Community Council, Planning and Land Use Committee. “We demand that our state legislators and especially LA Assemblymembers Bloom, Nazarian, Calderon, Friedman and Carrillo, oppose this bill. We do not want the consequence of SB 905; it only enriches the alcohol industry and only hurts our communities.”
“I see the impact that the thousands of alcohol licenses have on our County. I know the data. I can say for certain that this bill is not good for Los Angeles County, and I doubt it will have anything but negative impacts for California’s other counties,” stated Sarah Blanch, Co-chair of the Los Angeles Drug & Alcohol Policy Alliance (LADAPA). “I go out in West Hollywood a lot. I know the community. People there are concerned. The residents I know don’t want this. They don’t want more noise, they don’t want more drunkenness, they don’t want more fighting and drunk driving. Period. They don’t want it. Making alcohol available another two hours will only cost more in dollars and in pain for the problems it causes. We don’t need this.”
In response to the author’s continued mischaracterization of SB 905 as a ‘local control’ measure, there was consensus among opponents that there is no such thing as local control in alcohol policy and that the harm from one city’s decision to change last-call times will “splash” over to every surrounding community. SB 905, like three other failed 4 a.m. bar bills over the past 15 years, will spread alcohol overconsumption, loss of life, injury, and nuisance across the state.
“It is imperative to look at what a healthy and safe community looks like and how bars and trendy restaurants impact development and their role in increasing land values,” said Dina Cruz, United Coalition Prevention Project East, Social Model Recovery Systems. “This attack on a community leads to a lack of diversity in land use, displacement and ultimately homelessness. Communities dealing with gentrification such as Skid Row and Boyle Heights know too well that when trendy bars and restaurants begin to arrive we are the next to go. Longer access to booze is not what communities need to thrive — we need real affordable housing, public restrooms/showers and open green spaces,” she added.
Scott Suckow, Executive Director American Liver Foundation Pacific Coast Division California reminded everyone that DUIs are not the only issue. “Recently a study came out showing that the number of 25- to 34-year-olds who died annually from alcohol-related liver disease nearly tripled between 1999 and 2016. You don’t get liver disease at such a young age unless you are drinking heavily and frequently. Extending bar closing times to 4:00 a.m. will mean more young people dying in their prime due to this terrible disease. California already suffers more alcohol-related harm than any other state –$37.5 billion annually.” He added. “Please do not allow this dangerous nightlife experiment to produce more harm. We ask that SB 905 be rejected.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee where the Governor’s Finance Department opinion will have great importance. There is no language in SB 905 for additional funding for a true “pilot study”, or for a definitive source of revenue for local enforcement or emergency services to deal with projected increases in alcohol-related violence and traffic crashes after 4 a.m.
SB 905: REGISTERED OPPOSITION as of 8/5
Asian-American Drug Abuse Project, Inc. (AADAP)
ADAPT San Ramon Valley
Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County
Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association
California Alcohol Policy Alliance
California Alliance for Retired Americans
California College and University Police Chiefs Association
California Council for Alcohol Problems
Cambodian Association of America
CASA for Healthy Neighborhoods
Center for Human Development
Center for Open Recovery
Cesar Chavez Commemorative Committee of San Fernando Valley
Coalition for Drug Free Escondido
Coalition to Prevent Alcohol-Related Harms in LA Metro(COPALM)
Coastal Communities Drug-Free Coalition
Community Alliance for Drug Free Youth (CADFY)
Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California
County of Marin Board of Supervisors
California Friday Night Live Partnership
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network of Southern CA
Health Officers Association of California
Institute for Public Strategies
Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance
Los Angeles Police Protective League
Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California
Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mountain Communities Coalition Against Substance Abuse
National Asian Pacific Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA)
National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – San Fernando Valley
North Coastal Prevention Coalition
National Liquor Law Enforcement Association
One East Palo Alto
Pacoima Urban Village
Partnership for Positive Pomona
Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County (POALAC)
Project SAFER Educational Foundation
Pueblo y Salud, Inc.
Reach Out Against Drugs El Segunda
Rethinking Alcohol and other Drugs
San Diegans for Safe Neighborhoods
San Diego Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association
San Marcos Prevention Coalition
SF Prevention Coalition
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
Tarzana Treatment Centers
The Wall Las Memorias Project
United Coalition East Prevention Project (UCEPP)
United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles
Wellness & Prevention CenterSan Clemente
West County Alcohol & Marijuana Prescription Drug Coalition (AMPD)
West Hollywood Project
Westside Impact Coalition
Youth Leadership Institute (YLI)
Thousands of letters from the public
Take Action here: https://alcoholjustice.org/stop-4am to tell the Assembly Appropriations
Committee to STOP SB 905.
Michael Scippa 415 548-0492
Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336
Alison Simard 213-473-7467
SOURCE Alcohol Justice