Colorado lawmakers consider allowing bars to stay open until 7 a.m.

Jan. 18, 2014 at 9:27 PM

DENVER, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Bars in Colorado could stay open until 7 a.m. if a bill sponsored by state Rep. Crisanta Duran makes its way into law.

The aim of the Denver Democrat's legislation is to end the mass exodus of intoxicated bar patrons known to occur under the current 2 a.m. weekend closing time, the Denver Post reported Friday.

"When you mix alcohol and large crowds exiting at the exact same time, that's when problems occur," Duran said. "We're giving cities the option to allow bars to stay open longer and serve if they want.

"It's all about a steady process, as people leave throughout the night and bars close at different times. Everyone isn't just pouring out of bars all at once."

A representative for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the mayor had not taken a position on the all-night drinking bill, which is backed by the Downtown Denver Partnership. The Colorado Restaurant Association and Tavern League of Colorado want to see the measure amended to allay concerns that some cities could set earlier closing hours.

"We just don't like a possible contraction of the hours," said Pete Meersman, the restaurant association's president.

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