Sunday, December 7, 2008

DC Council extends Liquor sales til 5am/Bars open 24/7

The DC City Council on Tuesday Dec 2 voted to extend the bar closing time from 1am to 5am from January 17 -21 as the city is flooded with people to celebrate the Inauguration of President Obama.

The law, proposed by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, was introduced by council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who represents the nightlife-heavy neighborhoods of Adams Morgan and Mount Pleasant.

Graham said yesterday that he spoke with aides to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) the day the measure came up for a vote and passed.

Graham said he was asked to remove nightclubs -- a category that includes clubs with nude dancing -- from the legislation out of public safety concerns. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier shut down a nightclub and a lodge earlier this year after outbreaks of violence. The council restored nightclubs to the legislation, leading Graham to vote against his own bill.

"All of the discussions [with mayoral aides] were about public safety and their appraisal of public safety," Graham said. "I assumed that was an expression of Lanier."

Traci L. Hughes, a D.C. police spokeswoman, said more than 4,000 officers from other jurisdictions will be in the District assisting local police with the inauguration.

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