Today Michiganders can enjoy drinking with friends, family, and acquaintances within bars and restaurants as well as purchase alcohol at their local stores until 2 A.M. This all too common closing time may be subject to change in our near future. Senate Bill No. 856 proposes amending section 1114 of the Michigan liquor control code of 1998, this bill would enable cities with populations over 600,000 to sell and furnish alcohol until 4 A.M., for on-premise licensees. Currently the only city that fits this criterion is Detroit, Michigan. Bill No. 856 is not uncommon in regards to other states and cities; take Chicago for example where special licenses allow bars to serve until 4 A.M. or Nevada, a state with no regulations, bars can legally stay open 24 hours a day seven days a week.. Senate Bill No. 856 would require a yearly fee of 10,000 dollars for on-premise businesses. In order to gain the permit for extended hours the licensee would have to demonstrate its ability to perform a list of security measures. These measures include a heightened security personnel ratio of one security guard for every 50 customers, 360 degree video surveillance, and attendance of security from 11 to 4 A.M. Once the commission has determined this criteria has been met the application for extended hours will be permitted within 90 days. The money collected from the permits would be distributed three ways; (1) to the cities where the extended hours permits are located for administration cost (5%), (2) police departments of the cities where the permits are located in order to enforce the rules under this section (85%), (3) to the commission for carrying out all required terms of this section (10%). (2011 Bill)
Similar bills have been proposed in the past that were unsuccessful in extending on-premise time constraints, most recently in 2009. Bill No. 5056 (2009) proposed a permit that would extend the capacity of a bar to stay open and serve until 4 A.M., along with the bill included a provision that would allow a local government to prohibit this 4 A.M. threshold if that said government felt it was not appropriate. (2009 Bill) However, there has been some recent success in passing alcohol related legislation within Michigan. The passing of Senate Bill No. 100 (2011) has allowed Sunday morning sales of beer and wine beginning at 7 A.M.
Controversy surrounding the issue of alcohol and licensing is widespread, therefore many factors will play a part in Bill No. 856. Michigan's suffering population has led to the decrease in liquor licenses across cities however these licenses haven't been taken away from licensees, instead they decrease as licenses are revoked or turned in. The decreasing population along with the amount liquor licenses remaining the same has created some concern among particular cities. Jackie Poplar of the Flint City Council believes that excess bars and liquor stores are detrimental to the community and with the ratio of licenses to citizens decreasing; crime will worsen. (DeFever 1) However not all Michigan cities have been subject to declining population, the few that have increased will be awarded more licenses. Unlike Councilwoman Poplar of Flint, Grand Blanc Township supervisor Micki Hoffman believes the additional licenses will attract new businesses and jobs. (DeFever 2) Clearly controversy has and will continue to swirl among alcohol related license issues.
According to the current session of 2011-2012, of the 975 bills introduced within the senate 156 have been declared a public act, a pass percentage of 16%. (www.legislature.mi.gov) Taking these previous actions of Michigan legislation into account it is unlikely Bill No. 856 will pass in general terms of this pass percentage. Regardless if most bills introduced within Michigan legislature fail to become a public act; it is still possible Bill No. 856 will eventually pass through legislature.
DeFever, Dana. (1) "Flint's Alcohol Problem: Per Capita Liquor Licenses Increase as Population Declines." www.mlive.com. 5 Jan. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.
DeFever, Dana. (2) "Some Genesee County Communities Receive Liquor Licenses, Others Lose Them Due to Population Trends." Www.mlive.com. 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.
Http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%280aqbmuz0yeiu4nfylyevww55%29%29/billsummary.html. 23 Feb. 2012. Bill Status Summary.
(2011) A Bill to Amend 1998 PA 58, Entitled "Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998," by Amending Section 1114 (MCL 436.2114), as Amended by 2011 PA 27, and by Adding Section 1116., S. 856 (2011). Print.
(2009) A Bill to Amend 1998 PA 58, Entitled "Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998," by Amending Sections 525, 543, and 1114 (MCL 436.1525, 436.1543, and 436.2114), Section 525 as Amended by 2008 PA 218, Section 543 as Amended by 2005 PA 269, and Section 1114 as Added by 2004 PA 134, and by Adding Sections 1116 and 1117., H.R. 5056 (2009). Print.