DeKalb delays decision on earlier bar closing time

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DeKalb delays decision on earlier bar closing time

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More than 40 people stood in opposition to early bar closing hours in DeKalb County at the DeKalb Commission meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM

Bars in DeKalb County can continue to stay open until 4 a.m. — at least for now.

The DeKalb Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 Tuesday to delay a decision until next week on whether to cut off alcohol service at 2 a.m. in unincorporated areas. Commissioners asked county police to compile crime statistics surrounding late-night bars before reducing their hours.

More than 40 bar owners and employees wore red shirts and stood in unified opposition against the earlier closing time, saying that implementing it countywide would punish all businesses rather than those that are causing problems.

But residents who live near bars say an earlier closing time would reduce crime, noise and drunk driving that’s prevalent around clubs that stay open into early-morning hours.

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