Public hearing Tuesday on bar closing ordinance

Charleston County Council Tuesday is holding a public hearing and taking the final vote on a ordinance that would require establishments that sell alcohol to close between 2 and 6 a.m.

Now, businesses in the unincorporated parts of the county must stop selling alcohol after 2 a.m., but they can remain open.

Henry Darby was the only council member to vote against the proposed ordinance on earlier readings.

Darby said the ordinance represents “government intrusion” into private businesses.

He also said businesses are being forced to close because there is a perception that they contribute to crime after 2 a.m. But he likened that to “blaming red lights for accidents.”

Councilman Dickie Schweers, who voted in favor of the ordinance on earlier readings said he did so because “when folks are allowed to gather, it’s hard to police.”

The public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive in North Charleston.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.

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