Commissioners Debate Nightclub Closing Times

Bar times
Posted at 10:54 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 06:47:37-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--City commissioners debated the four a.m. closing time for bars and restaurants serving alcohol in the capital city. 

City Commissioner Gil Ziffer called Police Chief Michael DeLeo to the podium and asked him if he wanted bars to stay open either at 2 or 4 a.m.

Chief DeLeo says from March 1 to the end of June from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. in 2015, there were 59 calls for service at 10 to 11 bars. This year during that same time period, they had 41 calls for service.

"What happens if someone buys a pack a beer at 1:55? There's nothing that says they can't consume their alcohol," said Chief DeLeo. "Maybe there should be some tightening of the ordinance on the back end saying there can be no sale or consumption or service of alcohol after two a.m." 

After much discussion, commissioners voted to amend the ordinance with a closing time at three and sale of alcohol to stop at two a.m. They also want to add strict penalties if they are serving past that time. 

The amendment will be brought before commissioners in September at the earliest.

Vice presidents and police chiefs at FAMU, FSU, and TCC also wrote a letter to the commission asking to move the closing time to 2:30 a.m. The city attorney says they received it on Tuesday night.