Proposed tweak would let Colorado bars stay open until 4:30 a.m., not 7

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DENVER — The idea of allowing Colorado’s bars to remain open and serving alcohol until 7 a.m. raised a lot of eyebrows.

Now, the lawmaker behind the proposal hopes an amendment, which would only allow bars to stay open until 4:30 a.m., will help secure more support for her proposal, drawn up as a possible solution to the frequent spike in violence when a flood of bar-goers come streaming out into the streets at 2 a.m., the current closing time mandated by the state.

“We initially gave a lot of discretion to cities and counties about how late bars could stay open,” said Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, the sponsor of House Bill 1132.

“After a lot of discussion, we’ve come up with a compromise that will still give local governments a lot of discretion, but they can only extend bar hours to 4:30 a.m.”

Duran is hopeful the changes to the bill, which she’ll formally introduce at a hearing later this week, will win it more bipartisan support.

“If people stay until 4:30, they’ll still be able to use public transportation to leave the area,” Duran said. “And I think you’ll see Democrats and Republicans like the idea of giving local governments more discretion when it comes to this topic.”

Last week, FOX31 Denver reported that Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration and the city council supports the proposal, although it’s not clear what Denver would do should the bill become law.