Columbia City Council to vote on bill creating a tighter curfew for Columbia bars

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (W.A.C.H.)--A tighter curfew could be on the way for Columbia bars. One decision-maker in the capital city says cutting back on business would make the city safer. Right now, 23 bars in Columbia currently have extended hours permits. That means they're allowed to operate past 2:00 a.m.

However, at the beginning of this year, Columbia City Councilman Howard Duvall proposed to do away with that in the name of safety. Tonight at six, City Council could vote in favor of that bill.

Councilman Duvall says he wants to add three amendments to the bill. First, bars that currently have the extended hours permits would be allowed to renew in July, but no new permits would be issued. Second, any business that renews would have to meet building and fire codes. Finally, anyone who currently has a permit would have to meet state laws that require a portion of the revenue come from food services, not solely alcohol.

But even if these amendments are not adopted, Duvall calls tonight's meeting a pivotal moment for the future of bars in Columbia. He says he anticipates the council will vote in favor of banning all new extended hours permits.

"It's necessary because of the safety of students. They've been preyed upon by bars not following the law. They're getting them in trouble with alcohol early in their life. It's also a public quality of life situation for the neighborhood," says Duvall.

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