Jerry Brown Vetoes 4 AM Nightlife Bill for California Cities

The neon sign after hours at Murio's Trophy Room on Haight Street in San Francisco. (Morguefile)

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Friday that would have allowed nine California cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, to permit alcohol sales until 4 a.m.

SB 905, introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), sought to create a five-year pilot program for bars, nightclubs, and restaurants to serve alcohol in participating cities two hours later than presently allowed, with municipalities able to extend last-call in certain neighborhoods or with other restrictions.

Brown prefers the current cutoff.

Writing that the California Highway Patrol believes the bill would lead to more drunk driving, Brown declined to sign SB 905 into law.

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"California's laws regulating late-night drinking have been on the books since 1913," Brown said in a statement. "I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem."

In a statement following the veto, Wiener called the 2 a.m. limit a "bad leftover policy from over a century ago" and said he'd reintroduce the bill in 2019.

"It is a shame that we will continue to stifle our nightlife economy, but I remain committed to modernizing these outdated laws," Wiener said.

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