The city of Federal Way sees Seattle – and a specific city proposal there – as a problem citing that a new proposal which may extend the operating hours for Seattle area bars is a public safety issue. A Deputy Chief at Federal Way Police stated, “When you extend the hours (of bars), clearly you’re looking at higher levels of potential intoxication.”
The proposal before the Washington State Liquor Control Board which, if approved, would give Seattle the option to stagger the closing time of city bars. Right now, state law mandates that bars close by 2 a.m.
This week, the mayor of Federal Way along with the City Council sent a letter to the state, saying that the proposal, if passed, would likely lead to “more drunk drivers on the road during peak early morning commute times,” “increases in alcohol related injury and death,” and “greater service related demands on the Federal Way Police Department and surrounding jurisdictions.”
At Clever Rebel Tattoo on the north end of Federal Way, owner and tattoo artist Joe Meyer was skeptical that the proposal would impact the quality of life in his hometown.
“Just ’cause a bar is open later doesn’t mean it’s going to get worse,” Meyer said, as he applied fresh ink on a customer’s arm. “I think I’d be tired. If the bar closed at 3, I’d be tired. I want to go home and sleep.”
The state Liquor Control Board hopes to have a decision on the proposal by early May. If enacted, it would allow other cities to extend their hours as well.
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