A New Bill Could Mean Bars Staying Open Until 2 a.m. In Maine…But With A Catch
As Maine continues to tinker with the idea of bars closing later, a new bill has been proposed that would allow an extra hour, but there's a catch.
We've been down this road before. People from all across the country come to Maine on vacations and you'll hear the same response every time, "the bars close at 1? Are you serious?" Yep. Totally serious. We're fairly certain it's been that way since the beginning of time. But state representative Wayne Perry of Arundel thinks it's time for a change, within reason.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Perry has submitted a bill that would allow bars to stay open until 2 a.m. but ONLY if the town/city they operate in has their own police department. He believes that the later closing times will drive tourism further, but skeptics of the bill think later closing times just mean more trouble.
Detractors believe that if Maine ever decides on a change in closing times for bars, it needs to be universal. The idea that one town may have a bar that stays open an hour later than another town could lead people to make irrational decisions like driving while intoxicated in hopes of reaching another establishment. Others believe if a person is going to drive drunk, they'll do so regardless of the time.
A couple years ago, Governor Paul LePage suggested a later closing time for bars between Memorial Day and Columbus Day when tourism season in Maine is at its height. But LePage couldn't curry enough favor for the bill to pass. Will this one be any different?
What do you think? Should bars in Maine be able to stay open later?