Bar owners in this city are justifiably upset because the Licensing Board did not allow them to remain open an extra hour on New Year’s Eve. The Licensing Board’s decision failing to allow for an extra hour was Draconian. The city’s decision to stand firm on the 1 a.m. closing time for New Year’s Eve is inconsistent with common sense.
I believe the Licensing Board was correct in refusing to extend hours bars could remain open by going back to the 2 a.m. closing time as bar owners had been asking for. The 2 a.m. closing time was rolled back to 1 a.m. a few years back. In that instance, the Licensing Board did the right thing.
No one needs to be drinking every night at 2 a.m.
But New Year’s Eve is a different story.
The bars should have been allowed to remain open for an extra hour for a number of reasons.
First, New Year’s Eve is traditionally a very late evening, as all of us know. I don’t need to enumerate about New Year’s Eve. We all know what it is. We all understand the party nature of the evening.
That should have been reason enough for the Licensing Board to allow the bars in this city to remain open for an extra hour on the biggest party night of the year every year.
Second, the Licensing Board, to its credit, stripped the bars of their extra hour sometime ago.
I think this improved life in Lynn and it also improved the lives of the bar owners and license holders since closing at 2 a.m. and then cleaning up and finally closing, means that you essentially have no life 7 days a week.
One night at 2 a.m. hurts no one.
By allowing an extended closing time one night, license holders would not have been assuaged, but at least they would have been allowed to function as businessmen and women.
Parties just don’t end at 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. So it is difficult to have a party if the party has to be shut down prematurely.
There are those who will argue that there might be an accident involving someone who had been drinking during that extra hour.
This is a possibility. It is always a possibility during the day and the night every day and night.
You’d have to ban drinking entirely to cut down on that possibility but even then, many people drink at home or at private parties and then go out on the roads.
One hour for one night – New Year’s Eve – was not asking too much.
I applauded the Licensing Board’s cutback of hours.
I’m not applauding the board’s failure to add an hour on New Year’s Eve.
I don’t think there would have been anything wrong about doing so.