Politicians, or governments, will do anything for money. Michigan is considering allowing bars to stay open until 4 a.m. (they now must stop serving at 2 a.m.). Also on the table is the repeal of our Sunday blue law, which makes it a crime to sell alcohol before noon on Sunday.
Michigan legislative committee has voted to let bars stay open until 4 a.m. if they pay a $1,500 fee to the state…
I imagine that for many bars, the $1,500 permit is a no-brainer. I worked for several years as a bouncer in college, and at we probably could’ve brought in enough revenue to offset the cost of that permit in a single night if we had an extra 2 hours. I hope it passes. If for no other reason than, if you’ve ever tried to go tailgating before a Sunday football game and you forgot to buy a case of beer on Saturday night, you’re totally out of luck.
The “serious reason” is freedom, but that’s a tough sell these days. The State has no legitimate right to tell us when we can and cannot drink beers (or buy beers, for that matter) in the first place, but at least now they’re desperate enough to give us something back.
Of course, the political reason the legislature is considering relaxing the rules has everything to do with money, and nothing to do with personal freedom for individuals, which is unfortunate. Their backs are up against the wall, and now they’re trying to do everything they can in order to eke out incremental revenue from the rest of us. Most of the time that means more strictly enforcing revenue-generating laws: most traffic violations especially seat-belt laws would fall in to this category.
To me, if the repeal happens, it underscores how totally arbitrary most of these laws actually are, because 1) the State isn’t making revenue on the current system, and 2) if this is a public safety measure (I don’t believe it is) then it’s evidence that the politicians are more than willing to sell out your “safety” to make a quick buck.
UPDATE: About an hour after I posted this, I was informed that bars will still be required to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m. Currently patrons must vacate such premises no later than 2:30 a.m., so this isn’t quite the incremental step towards “more freedom” than I had first assumed. Which is why I have the “no legitimate right to tell us when we can and cannot drink beers” argument. Oh well…)