DeKalb County is considering earlier closing times for bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Commissioners held their first public hearing on the proposal Tuesday.
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Bars, clubs and restaurants that serve alcohol are allowed to do so until 3:55 a.m. The proposed ordinance would change that to 2 a.m.
Joe Arrington, a DeKalb County resident, told the commission earlier closings could reduce crime.
“It has been concerning to watch the sale of alcohol and serving of alcohol even till midnight, much less 2 o’clock and even now 4 o’clock,” Arrington said. “We have steadily gone down a rabbit hole that has no end.”
Arnie Oxman, owner of O’Riley Food and Spirits, a bar in DeKalb, said closing earlier would hurt their customers and employees.
“We restaurant owners would also be negatively affected by the amount of reduced hours under consideration,” he said. “It may very well force us to cut back on our staffing due to the decrease in sales.”
Opponents, like Oxman, said some businesses would even have to shut down.
The commission motioned to delay the vote on the ordinance until the next public meeting.