Tuscaloosa officials say there's been a decrease in the number of drunken driving offenses one year after the city council passed an ordinance forcing bars to close earlier.
The ordinance, which was enacted in March 2003, prohibits sales after 1:45 a.m. and requires bars to close at 2 a.m. except Friday night-Saturday morning.
Despite the new closing times, sales tax revenues from bars increased.
Sales taxes rose nine percent between March 2003 and February 2004. Fifty lounges paid nearly $153,000 in sales taxes in the year before the ordinance was adopted, while more than $166,500 was collected from 49 lounges the year after the law was enacted.
City officials think its too soon to determine whether the numbers indicate a trend. City Council members said that they're unlikely to change the law, but would discuss it a June meeting.