Proposed legislation could allow bars and restaurants to stay open until 4 a.m.

Sheriff Youngblood sounds off on the bill

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Popular destinations like Las Vegas and New York City attract large crowds until all hours of the morning, and state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) is also pushing for a later last call.

The bill would give California cities and counties the option to petition state alcohol regulations to allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., which is two hours later than the current law. Even though it could boost the local economy, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood is against the idea.

"I just don't see anything good in a bill just to increase revenue. The dangers to our public far outweigh the increased revenue, in my opinion," Youngblood said.

Locals were also split on the issue.

"I'm not exactly sure if it's a good idea if you're looking at it from the position of law enforcement. However, if it's free enterprise and a business man thinks that he can keep his establishment open a little longer and make a profit, I see no problem with that either," Mike Spensco, a Bakersfield resident, said.

"The possibility of over serving our patrons here in town, we just don't need it," Nicole Cerotsky," another resident said.

Laura Madrid, a local restaurant employee, said public safety is the main concern.

"Make sure you get a taxi when you go home and that it's enforced wherever you go. Also, the local businesses need to make sure people are good to go back on the streets and get home safely."

The bill is now being reviewed by a committee.

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