City of Tallahassee Commissioners approved the new 4 a.m. sound ordinance Jan. 27. This new time will allow bars to stay open later starting next month.
The vote won 3-2 with Commissioners Scott Maddox and Gil Ziffer in opposition.
“With Tallahassee leading the state in gun violence – the last thing we need is to allow for 4 a.m. closing times,” Maddox said.
Karl Etters with the Tallahassee Democrat, reported that Leon County ranked the highest crime rate in the state. Murders, sexual and aggravated assaults, robberies, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle theft totaled to 5,049 incidents last year.
According to Tallahassee Online Police Statistics, there has only been 23 alcohol related crimes compared to the thousands of other crimes reported.
Bars and restaurants will still abide by the city’s policy that requires them to stop serving alcoholic beverages by 2 a.m.
A city staff member suggested closing time to be 2:30 a.m., but restaurant owners who stay open late and nightclub owners expressed that they would suffer financially if forced to close at that time.
This new time also allows bars to get the chance to compete with nightclubs.
Carrington Coleman, fourth-year business administration with facilities management student from Detroit, Mich., shared that the passing of this ordinance provides more options for event planners. He hosts parties at Recess Night Club on Thursday nights.
Extending the time would also lead to paying additional expenses to accommodate everyone working longer hours, or risking people not coming out because of their obligations the next morning.
“I wouldn't extend the events to anything later than 2 a.m. and jeopardize students not coming out,” Coleman said.
There are students, like fourth-year business administration student from Chicago, Ill. Seth McCormick, who agrees with Coleman’s sentiments.
“In all honesty, you shouldn’t be partying past 4 a.m. anyway, but this is a college town,” McCormick said.
There is another financial upside to the ordinance being passed. DJ’s who charge by the hour will be able to make more money within one night.
“Two hours being added to Tallahassee’s nightlife means two DJ’s that share the entertainment for one night might DJ three hours apiece instead of the standard two,” Barrington “DJ Plae” Fowler said.
Fowler shares that a lot of promotion groups usually stick with their same DJ’s, so this extended time would open the door of opportunity for new DJ’s to get a chance to play more.
“I’ve DJ’d until about six in the morning before, so four wouldn’t be so bad, as long as the check reflects,” Fowler said.