Is this the solution?

If you attended the LSU and Southern University football game last week in Baton Rouge, you already know of the nightmare it was to leave campus and even the city after the gane.

One idea to help alleviate traffic through the city after home football games is to allow the bars to stay open an additional hour, until 3 am.

Multiple Baton Rouge media outlets are reporting that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will meet to discuss this idea after LSU and Southern home football games.

The idea is that not as many people will try to leave at once, while some may elect to hang around, in the bars, rather than get on the road immediately after the game.

As you may expect, this idea or proposal has met some opposition.

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WBRZ reports that Mothers Against Drunk Driving has asked officials in Baton Rouge to scratch this idea.

Here's a portion of the message from the group known as MADD to local officials.

"Dear East Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council Members and the Alcohol Beverage Control

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) urges you to oppose any proposal to extend the current closing time for the sale of alcohol at bars or restaurants from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. during LSU and Southern football game days. The proposal under review by the Alcohol Beverage Control Board will have far-reaching public safety implications for our region as the problem of impaired driving is not going away.

MADD supports the uniform statewide cut-off time for alcohol sales. This uniform time helps
prevent barhopping to find one last drink at establishments with later closing times. Far too
often, the search for “one last drink” results in drunk driving.

Drunk driving deaths increased by 83% in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2020. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2019. Drunk driving deaths increased 83% in 2020, when 33 lives were taken due to drunk driving. Extending bar closing times will only make the problem of drunk driving worse in the Parish."

The message would continue with citations showing how this idea has led to some unfortunate situations in other parts of the country, where bars were allowed to stay open later.

If the ABC Board votes to allow bars to stay open until 3 am for LSU and Southern University home football games, it would then go before the EBR Council and their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 21.

We will continue to follow this story from Baton Rouge and provide you with more updates here as they become available.


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