Little Impact Seen in Later Closing Time for Arizona Bars


When the closing time for Arizona watering holes changed to 2 a.m. in August, bars expected a surge in profits while critics worried about the increased number of drunken drivers. But three months later, profits haven’t soared, nor have the number of drunken-driving incidents, reports the Arizona Republic. But for two Valley nightlife hot spots – Scottsdale and Tempe – the change translates to police working later into the morning to answer calls associated with the night owls.

In Tempe, the effects of the later bar closing time seep further into the department than just the traffic unit, said Sgt. John Butler. “People just don’t seem to be going to bed. They go to Del Taco. They’re walking the streets, hanging out in the parking lots. Our officers are spending more of their time backing up officers at more criminal calls, fights, domestic violence.” Officers in Scottsdale and Tempe bumped shift changes back so that officers accustomed to getting off at 3 or 4 a.m. are often forced to stay on the streets until nearly daybreak, especially on weekends.


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