Should there be ‘last call’ laws in your area? Are they discriminatory?

Last night, on my show, we discussed the concept of “last call.” This is traditionally when an announcement is made before a bar closes, “15 minutes left to buy alcohol!” What happens after last call is why this is being discussed.

Patrons of the pub will buy as much alcohol as they can in the short period left in the evening where it is “legal.” They are forced (due to the establishment closing) to consume that alcohol in a short period. These patrons are now suddenly thrown out on the street in the midst of their party.

The time that this happens varies based on the state (and even city) in which you live. In Delaware, alcohol sales are illegal between the hours of 1 am and 9 am. In the states surrounding Delaware you may legally sell alcohol until 2 am (in Maryland, parts of New Jersey, and Pennsylvania [including Philadelphia). In Atlantic City, you may sell alcohol 24 hours a day.

One has to wonder whether this prohibition of sales is meant to discriminate against small business owners. In many situations, patrons would prefer to spend more time and money in the establishment(s) serving them alcohol. Many business owners discussed this with this writer, and many saw it to be unnecessary. The term “legislate morality” was used.

Because some people consider it “unsavory” to drink throughout the evening does not mean the time you are legally allowed to do so should be limited. Some people work different shifts than the “day shift” and are awake during different hours than the average “9-5” person.

As someone who works later in the day, this writer’s day tends to run during different hours than the “average American.” When leaving a friend’s house or a bar, one tends to look at the time and consider arriving at their destination. Would you be driving during “drunk rush hour”? You know exactly what “drunk rush hour” is without explanation. Just in case, “drunk rush hour” is about 30 minutes after the bars kick everyone out. “Drunk rush hour” is when all bar patrons are sitting comfortably in their vehicles driving home while the last few drinks they consumed swiftly during “last call” are circulating their systems.

The last point, which may be commonly overlooked, is the high crime rate, which may come from cutting short the evening of people who are just trying to enjoy themselves. Everyone is forced to stop his or her evening at the same time. In my area, the only places still open after the bars close are one 24-hour diner and one 24-hour gas station. As one may imagine, there tends to be a large number of police calls made to the latter location. Interestingly enough, the first location (the diner), although it is busy, tends to be relatively calm.

Simply imagine how much more money could be made by business owners if Americans were “allowed” to drink until they were done with their evening. Simply imagine how much less bored “crime” there would be if Americans were “allowed” to drink until they were done with their evening. Simply imagine what would happen if Americans were “allowed” to purchase alcohol whenever they felt like it.

Do you think there would be chaos in the streets?


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