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Officials endorse proposal to extend bar hours on game days, pending Metro Council approval

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BATON ROUGE - Officials voted in favor of a proposal to let bars stay open later on nights where LSU and Southern University are hosting football games, though it still has more hurdles to clear before it becomes reality.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board voted 4-3 Thursday to endorse the proposal, which would allow bars to stay open until 3 a.m. on nights when either college hosted games that kicked off at 5 p.m. or later. The resolution will go to the East Baton Rouge Metro Council, which will ultimately decide whether to make it into law parishwide. 

The discussion was taken up just days after the traffic mess that followed the LSU-Southern game this past weekend.

Supporters of the move said it would help stagger the mass exit of bar goers that usually comes around 2 a.m., when bars are forced to close on a typical morning.

"Maybe people go back to the tailgate for an hour because they have plenty of time, then they call their Uber," Jason Nay, co-owner of Fred's bar, said. 

However, some members of the board said it was a transparent attempt to bring in more money for business owners. 

"This is obviously not about traffic control," said one board member, echoing the concerns of another.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an activist group, spoke out against the proposal on Thursday, arguing it could put more drunk drivers on the road.

"It gives people an extended amount of time to become intoxicated and then get on our roads," Sunny House with Mothers Against Drunk Driving said. 

The Metro Council is scheduled to meet Wednesday, Sept. 21.


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