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Colorado bars could stay open until 7 a.m.; state legislation proposed

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 20 2014 11:47:27 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 21 2014 12:02:49 AM CST

7 a.m. could be the new bar closing time in Colorado. State lawmakers behind the plan say it's all about safety.
The proposed law is not intended to keep people drinking until sun up, but to help slow down the mass exodus from bars.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

7 a.m. could be the new bar closing time in Colorado. State lawmakers behind the plan say it's all about safety.

The proposed law is not intended to keep people drinking until sun up, but to help slow down the mass exodus from bars.

According to KDVR.com, allowing bars to serve booze until 7 a.m. could help prevent violent fights and clashes between bar patrons on the streets in areas like LoDo Denver, said Democratic state Rep. Cristana Duran.

Back East Bar & Grill has been pouring drinks for eight years. They close at 2 a.m. It's state law right now.

"I don't see staying open after 2 a.m. as being beneficial for us personally," said Back East Bar & Grill co-owner Megan Davis.

State lawmakers like Rep. Duran said it could be beneficial for bars to stay open untl 7 a.m., but not everyone agrees.

"I'm not interested in people who've been out drinking for the 10-12 hours on the road," said parent Chris Cortez.

However, one parent agrees with the law's intention to ease the crowds and fights.

"I think shared responsibility from all parties, I think it could work," said Sean Cavanaugh.

Davis disagrees, saying, "There is still the absolute possibility of them being angry and going out and fighting anyway."

A cab driver said extended hours could help him.

"It'd be better because then we'd be steady. Then, we wouldn't be rushing to get back downtown to pick somebody up," said driver Mookie Carlson.

The argument of more time to drink could be the biggest hurdle.

"If they leave at three and they've already had too much to drink, the it would've been better they left it at two," said Davis.

The manager at Blondie's bar told KRDO Newschannel 13 he thinks keeping the bar open later could make the streets safer.

The lawmakers behind the plan said they're working with the Colorado Restaurant Association and Tavern League of Colorado to create amendments to the bill.

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