Proposal could keep bars open later

Two bills being considered by legislators could change your trip to the bar.

One would give businesses the option of serving alcohol later and the other would mandate certain serving sizes.

Both proposals are getting mixed reactions so far.

Some people said keeping the bars open later is a great idea. Others said nothing good happens after 2am.

â??I know for a fact me and my friends would be out later,â?? said Kirsten Gray from Howell. â??I think the bars would make a lot of money.â??

â??Maybe if I were 19, or 21, 22. It may not be a bad thing,â?? said Brad Brunken from Brighton. â??But the possibility of damages and car accidents and not good things happening for young adults is not a good thing.â??

The later closing time may benefit bigger cities. Many people said places like Traverse City might not make the cut.

â??I don't know if we have the demographic to sort of support that extra two hours,â?? said David Denison, owner of Amical in Traverse City. â??Chicago is 4am. There's people from all over the world in Chicago. There's all different things going on in that city. I'm not so sure we have a whole lot going on here from 2 to 4 in the morning.â??

Senate bill 247 would allow businesses to yearly purchase an "extended hours permit" for $10,000 dollars.

Business owners said it would not hurt to have the option here in Michigan.

â??For the bar owner, it's a business decision,â?? said Tonya Cook, State Street Grille operator. â??How much money do you think you can make between 2 and 4am, and does that justify the cost of the additional permit?â??

Cook said she has had to kick out more than 150 patrons on busy nights when the bar closes at two.

Five percent of extended hour permit fee would be allocated to administration costs, ten percent would go to the commission to enforce it, and 85 percent would go to local police departments.

The Senate committee investigating the extended hours proposal released its findings. They say the bill would have a positive fiscal impact on the state government.

The other idea legislators are considering is regulating how much beer is actually being poured into a glass. Many people said the bill sounds more like common sense than law.

â??If you're a bar owner and you're pouring beers and you say you're pouring them a pint, you should pour them a pint,â?? said Denison.

Others agreed that wait staff should follow the drink guidelines, but having it as law would help the matter be enforced.

Some people I spoke with said making sure a pint actually measures 16 ounces is a good idea

That, however, leads people to question who would be enforcing the law.

â??The problem is not legislating, the problem is enforcing. So if you put a law for that, are you really going to have people that come out and measure the amount you put in a pint?â?? posed Cook.