Michigan Senate approves of bars staying open until 4 a.m. in downtown areas



The Michigan Legislature tackled more this week besides legislation that would restrict communities from enacting local laws they deem worthwhile: Under a bill approved by the Senate this week, municipalities would have the ability to allow bars in downtowns across the state to remain open until 4 a.m.

The bill, which passed on a 22-14 vote, would allow bars and restaurants located in central business districts to keep booze flowing until 4 a.m. Local governments would have to decide whether to allow hours to be expanded. 

Currently, bars cannot sell alcohol between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m.

In order to receive an extended hours permit, a bar or restaurant would have to submit an application to the state Liquor Control Commission, and pay an annual $10,000 fee. The revenue from the fees would be split three ways, according to the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency: 85 percent would go to local police departments where 4 a.m. permits are allowed, 10 percent to the Liquor Control Commission, and 5 percent to municipalities where extended hours are allowed. 

Any bar or restaurant seeking a permit would have to implement certain measures, the senate fiscal agency says: They'd have to have one security person for every 50 customers on the premises, security personnel in place from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., and a 360-degree surveillance on the perimeter of the premises. 

The bill will now head to the state House for consideration and requires the signature of Gov. Rick Snyder to go into effect. 

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