*This post is part of a series, “HBT On The Issues,” that lets visitors know where HB Tomorrow has stood on specific issues in Huntington Beach. If you would like to know where HB stands on an issue of interest to you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our city’s precariously high DUI numbers continue to climb. For downtown alone the city has issued approximately 69 to 71 ABC [Alcohol Beverage Control] licenses. This concentration, representing roughly one ABC license for every 100 residents, is six times ABC’s own guidelines. It might be the highest in the entire state of California.
Comparing DUI concentration and ABC license concentration yields significant overlap. And the Council in recent years has continued to approve later closing times for downtown bars.
Our downtown residents feel these effects most acutely, with patrons staggering into the streets in the wee hours, searching for their cars in front of neighboring homes, vomiting in yards, sometimes destroying property.
This is a question about our values: How much extra alcohol revenue is worth the loss of life to DUIs, and the loss of quality of life to our neighborhoods?
A longer treatment on this problem appeared in our newsletter.