Wednesday, October 24, 2007

2 am Suggestions

CP has a poll up asking whether or not you would support all bars being open until 2 am. Here is my guess as to how the results will turn up:

-54% absolutely not
-25% probably not
-18% absolutely yes
-3% probably yes

(I also predict that 16 votes will be disqualified, on account of the participant being too drunk to select only one answer.)

My answer is 'absolutely yes, with qualifications', and I have no idea where that falls on the poll's spectrum.

Anyway, I would submit that there are zero people that have a problem with 2 am licenses themselves. I would be prepared to wager my entire blogging salary on the belief that everybody who opposes 2 am licenses actually opposes things that are already illegal, thereby suggesting a police enforcement problem.

Off the top of my head, I would make the following suggestions to make the 2 am idea more palatable:

1. Hire 23 more police officers and put some of them on late night shifts to catch the people who are grievously offending property and quality of life.

2. Fix the police department building, so that when the above hooligans are arrested, there is someplace to put them.

3. Require a yearly review of all liquor licenses, whereby a bar that doesn't run a good/safe operation can be, perhaps, rolled back to a midnight closing, forced to close during Naval Academy graduation week, etc.

4. Use the threat of revoking a liquor license to incentivize bars to clean up their acts. The county did that to the Green Turtle in Edgewater, and they now have to close at midnight for a year!

5. Require all new liquor license holders to operate with a midnight license for a year before being allowed to have a 2 am.

6. Allow ward 1 residents to conscript into servitude the drunken idiots who ruin it for the rest of us.

7. Provide tougher enforcement (or any enforcement, really) of nuisance laws, for example by putting putting 1 newly hired police officer on 23 different blocks in ward 1, with the authority to write $500 citations for violations.

8. And lastly, the drum beats on for collaboration. Residents and businesses should figure out ways to work together. Bars should run operations that don't cause problems, and residents should realize that some things come with the territory when you live within walking distance of a downtown area.

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