Assembly Revises Bar ‘Safety Hour’ Law

The Anchorage Assembly unanimously passed a new version of an ordinance that allows bars to stay open for an extra ‘safety’ hour so that patrons can filter out slowly. The assembly hopes the new version of the law will increase participation in a program aimed at curbing problems at closing time.
The Assembly passed the original ordinance aimed at the problem back in March. But bar owners said the the punishments were too high and there was too much paperwork. Assembly member Patrick Flynn, who represents downtown proposed the original ordinance. He says he thinks they’ve got it right now.

“The previous version that passed had a pretty high fee schedule. And the application process wasn’t as well as it could have been, so I hope we’ve got that thought out now.”

The ordinance allows bars to stay open for an additional safety hour, between 3 and 4am, on weekends and holidays. They cannot serve alcohol during the hour. Lights are required to be up. And music is prohibited. If a business is found in violation of the law they’re given a hearing through the clerk’s office. The clerk can suspend a bar’s safety hour permit without the hearing if they’re deemed a danger to the public. It becomes law in 10 days and will be up for review after a year.

AO NO. 2013-86