The state Liquor Authority says in a declaratory ruling that Saratoga Springs cannot have a different “last call” for alcohol than the rest of Saratoga County.
Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen wants to have bars and restaurants in the city stop serving alcohol at 3 a.m., rather than the current 4 a.m. He was hoping that the city could have a different last call time than the rest of the county.
“We weren’t surprised. At least it’s clarified now,” he said Tuesday.
Mathiesen has been pushing an earlier last call since taking office at the start of the year. He said late night and early morning violence and other problems on Caroline Street might be lessened if alcohol sales were cut off at 3 a.m. He said bars and restaurants would still be able to stay open until 4 a.m.
The declaratory ruling indicates the county has the power to restrict the hours of alcohol sales within the county and those hours must be uniform across the county.
State Liquor Authority members issued the declaratory ruling earlier this month, but the decision wasn’t received by city officials until late last week.
Mathiesen said he plans to bring the last call issue up again at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He tabled a vote on his proposal to change the last call time from 4 a.m. to 3 a.m. at the council’s May 15 meeting because of possible lack of support from his fellow council members.
He said he will seek support and a council vote on the last call change so he can present this to Saratoga County officials for their consideration of a countywide 3 a.m. last call.
Mathiesen said only 20 of the 57 counties in the state outside of New York City have a last call time of 4 a.m. Many of the counties have a last call at 2 a.m., others at 3 a.m., and some as early as 1 a.m.