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  • Writer's pictureKarlie Valdez, JD

How extending alcohol service hours could affect DUI in Seattle

Seattle, known for its bustling nightlife and vibrant bar scene, is considering extending alcohol service hours for bars and restaurants. The proposal would allow establishments to serve alcohol beyond the current 2 am cut-off time, and potentially even for 24 hours. While this may sound like an exciting prospect for those who enjoy a late night out, there are both pros and cons to this idea, especially when it comes to Seattle DUI enforcement.

Let's start with the potential advantages of extending alcohol service hours in Seattle. First and foremost, it would provide a boost to the local economy, as bars and restaurants would be able to generate much needed post pandemic revenue. This would also create job opportunities for those who work in the hospitality industry. Additionally, it could attract more tourists to the city, who may be drawn to the prospect of a vibrant and lively nightlife.

However, there are potential drawbacks to extending alcohol service hours. One of the biggest concerns is the increased risk of DUI in Seattle and other alcohol-related incidents. This is especially true if alcohol service were to be extended to 24 hours, as this could lead to more people drinking excessively and potentially getting behind the wheel. While some argue that extended alcohol service could actually reduce the incidence of drunk driving by spreading out drinking over a longer period of time, this is not necessarily supported by research.

Another potential downside is the impact on public safety. If bars and restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol around the clock, this could lead to increased noise and disturbances in residential areas. It could also put a strain on law enforcement resources, as officers may need to respond to more incidents related to excessive drinking.

When it comes to enforcement of DUI in Seattle, there are both potential benefits and challenges associated with extended alcohol service. On one hand, more alcohol-related incidents could mean more opportunities for police to identify and arrest drunk drivers, potentially leading to a reduction in DUIs overall. On the other hand, extended alcohol service could make it more difficult for law enforcement to effectively enforce DUI laws, as there would be more people on the road who have consumed alcohol.

Ultimately, the decision to extend alcohol service hours in Seattle will depend on a number of factors, including the potential economic benefits, public safety concerns, and impact on DUI enforcement. It is important for city officials to carefully consider all of these factors before making a decision that could have significant implications for the community. Regardless of the decision made, it is important for individuals to drink responsibly and always have a plan for getting home safely.


If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you've received a DUI in Seattle a consultation with DUI lawyer Karlie Valdez of Valdez Law is your best first step. Karlie has helped hundreds of good people get their lives back on track after a DUI. Call (206) 718-4498 for a consultation on a Seattle area DUI.


How have extended drinking hours affected other US Cities?

Extending bar alcohol service hours is a topic that has been debated in many cities across the United States. While some cities have extended alcohol service hours with positive results, others have seen an increase in DUIs and alcohol-related incidents. In this section, we will take a closer look at how extending alcohol service hours has affected DUIs in other US cities.

Las Vegas, Nevada is a city that has famously extended alcohol service hours to 24/7. This decision was made in an effort to attract more tourists and increase revenue for local businesses. While the city has seen an increase in alcohol-related incidents, the number of DUIs has actually decreased since the extension of alcohol service hours. According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, DUI arrests decreased by 37% in the first year after the extension of alcohol service hours.

Similarly, New Orleans, Louisiana has also extended alcohol service hours to 24/7 in certain areas of the city. The decision to extend alcohol service hours was made to increase tourism and provide a boost to the local economy. While the city has seen an increase in alcohol-related incidents, including public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, the number of DUIs has remained relatively unchanged.

In contrast, San Francisco, California ended a pilot program that extended alcohol service hours in certain areas of the city in 2018. The pilot program was implemented in an effort to reduce binge drinking and decrease the number of DUIs. However, during the pilot program, there was actually an increase in alcohol-related incidents and DUIs. As a result, the program was not extended beyond the pilot period.

Another city that has seen an increase in DUIs following the extension of alcohol service hours is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2015, the city extended alcohol service hours to 4 am. However, the number of DUIs increased significantly in the years following the extension of alcohol service hours. According to the Pennsylvania State Police, there was a 60% increase in DUI arrests in Pittsburgh between 2015 and 2017.

These examples illustrate that the impact of extending alcohol service hours on DUIs and alcohol-related incidents can vary depending on the city and the specific circumstances. While Las Vegas and New Orleans have seen a decrease or no change in DUIs, San Francisco and Pittsburgh have seen an increase in DUIs following the extension of alcohol service hours.

It is important to note other important factors that can influence the number of DUIs and alcohol-related incidents in a city. For example, the availability of public transportation and ride-sharing services may impact the number of people who choose to drive after drinking. Seattle has made improvements to public transportation in recent years, but the city is definitely not known for its public transportation options. Additionally, the enforcement of DUI laws can vary between cities and can impact the number of DUIs.

In conclusion, extending bar alcohol service hours can have both positive and negative impacts on DUIs and alcohol-related incidents. While some cities have seen a decrease in DUIs, others have seen an increase. It is important for city officials to carefully consider all of the potential impacts before making a decision on whether to extend alcohol service hours.

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