In Los Angeles, and most counties and municipalities in the US, last call is at 2am. Certain cities like Atlantic City serve 24 hours and others like Ocean City, NJ are completely dry. In the case of Australia, respectively harsh “lockout laws” have set a last call at 3am and prevent people from entering a new venue after 1:30am.
These rules were imposed last February in an attempt to reduce the prevalence of alcohol-related violence, but have been met with considerable backlash and, now, even protests. Over this past weekend, thousands including DJs, clubbers, and hospitality workers turned out for a ‘Reclaim The Streets’ protest.
Thousands gathered at Hyde Park and marched to King’s Cross, a distance of roughly 1.3km, or a little less than a mile. While the laws themselves are not really all that bad, compared to the US, the issue comes when residents flee to other cities to avoid the laws. Apparently, “it was reported alcohol-related violence had increased by 18 per cent in the suburb of Newtown, outside the lockout zone, since the laws were introduced.” And many clubs in the area have been forced to close resulting from loss of business.
For more information on Reclaim The Streets, check out the group’s Facebook page.