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Jacksonville Leaders Approve 2 a.m. Curfew for Liquor Sales

Jacksonville city council members approve a new ordinance banning alcohol sales after 2 a.m.
JACKSONVILLE, AR--Jacksonville city leaders voted to shut down liquor sales at 2:00 a.m. at clubs open until 5 o'clock in the morning. The police chief spoke in support of the new ordinance at Thursday night's meeting, saying records show the amount of 911 calls to nightclubs doubled between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

There are four businesses with 5:00 a.m. permits, three that actually use them. Authorities say they see a rise in violent crime and even pointed to a recent stabbing death at The Hangar in March.

Opponents spoke out at the meeting saying while crime does tend to pick up so does business for people who rely on those clubs to support their families.

Subcontractor Rachel Roberston says, "For everyone who does work in bars and service industry full time as their main source of income I think they will be affected the most, usually 2:00-5:00 a.m. is when they make the most tips."

The owner of the the club Sensations pleaded with the council for more time to address safety concerns. The board blocked that request, moving forward with a vote and it passed. Only two council members voted against it. The new rule will go into effect in July.

The city attorney modeled the ordinance verbatim after an ordinance passed in Fayetteville.
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