Why stop at 2 a.m.? This bill would let Colorado cities set their own last call hours.

A similar bill in 2014 died when its main sponsor, now-Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, pulled it because it didn’t have enough support.

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Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill in the Colburn Hotel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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You don't have to go home but you can't stay here. Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill in the Colburn Hotel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

I mean, what if you get a late start to the evening? 2 a.m. can come up on a person so quickly!

Right now, Colorado law bans the sale of alcohol between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. A bill introduced in the state legislature would give local governments the ability to set a later time for “last call” if they so choose. 

It’s assigned to the local government committee in the state House, and it’s sponsors say it’s just about local control. The main House sponsors are Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Thornton Democrat, and Rep. Dan Thurlow, a Grand Junction Republican. Sen. Vicki Marble, a Fort Collins Republican, is the chief sponsor in the Senate.

There are two schools of thought on the value of last call. One is that the later bars can stay open, the more people will drink. And the more people drink, the more problems you have like drunk driving, assaults and so on. The other is that having a single time for last call means that areas with a high concentration of bars — like Lower Downtown — sees more fights and other problems when everyone spills out right at 2 a.m. If last call were later, most people wouldn’t drink all the way until, say, 4 a.m., and people would leave at staggered times and you would have fewer problems.

They might also leave staggering, but that’s on them, as long as they get a ride.

A similar bill in 2014 died when its main sponsor, now-Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, pulled it because it didn’t have enough support.

The Colorado Municipal League, which lobbies on behalf of cities and towns, supported the effort. The Colorado Restaurant Association withdrew its support for the bill after it was amended to also give municipalities the power to shorten hours of operation to earlier than 2 a.m. They didn’t want that much local control.