Bars in Colorado get one step closer to staying open past 2 a.m.

The bill that could allow Colorado bars to stay open past their current 2 a.m. curfew made it out of the Democrat-controlled State House on Thursday.

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El Chapultepec. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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El Chapultepec. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The bill that could allow Colorado bars to stay open past their current 2 a.m. curfew made it out of the Democrat-controlled state House on Wednesday.

The legislation backed by Reps. Steve Lebsock, a Thornton Democrat, and Dan Thurlow, a Grand Junction Republican, would let local governments decide to set later last calls for bars. House Bill 1123 now goes before the Republican-controlled state Senate where Sen. Vicki Marble, a Fort Collins Republican, hopes to carry it to victory.

Right now, Colorado law bans the sale of alcohol between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. A similar bill died last year after its main sponsor, now-Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, pulled it because it lacked enough support. The bill wouldn’t automatically allow bars to stay open later, but it would become an issue for local governments to decide.

Opponents of a later last call say that the later bars stay open, the more people drink and the more problems you have. Proponents of a more flexible closing time say that a single set time for last call creates its own problems when everyone spills into the street right at 2 a.m.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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