Nightlife legislation of the United States
Nightlife legislation of the United States is mostly in local jurisdiction of the city or state.
New York City, New York
Since 1926, the New York City Cabaret Law has prohibited dancing in all spaces open to the public that sell food and/or drink with the exception of those who obtain a cabaret license.
In 2006, in response to a number of murders which occurred in the New York City area (some involving nightclubs and bouncer), additional legislation was enacted affecting many areas of nightlife.
On March 14, 2007, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino had signed Imette's Law, named after murder victim Imette St. Guillen, which would make it mandatory for nightclub and bar owners to conduct criminal background checks on bouncers and to set up security video cameras outside the establishment. This law was proposed by Boston City Councilar Michael Flaherty and was passed unanimously.
Imette's Law was also enacted in New York State.
San Francisco, California
The Entertainment Commission had a hearing on January 15, 2008 at City Hall and their discussion.
In regards to Baltimore's teen nightlife, teenagers who were quoted stated, "There's nothing to do" and "We're just hanging out. In one teen-hangout named "Generation Xtremes", the article mentioned that anyone entering had to be under 21 for access. One program for teenagers was started by "local child-advocacy organizations" and "members of Mission Baltimore" called a "Kidz Nite Inn".
Oklahoma City councilman Skip Kelly, seeking to curb club violence, wants the city of Tulsa to pass an abatement law letting police focus more on nightclubs with various violations. This move was after the shooting of 19-year-old Kascey McClelland at Club Zax. It was reported that police have little clues in the shooting. McClelland died within a week of the six bullet shooting, which occurred in the club's parking lot.
It was also reported that in 2006 that police investigated six shootings, and in 2008 responded to about 700 calls at six of the city's nightclubs. The article stated that "Law enforcement officers blame the violence on youthful immaturity, alcohol, a growing gang problem or on the number of guns on the street."
Kelly indicated that the city's nuisance and abatement ordinance, which was originally designed to control drug use and prostitution will be revised to include violence, loitering and underage drinking. He said:
- "We are looking at some language that would give full notice to these club owners, and give police and council stronger laws that they can act on; We are looking at something that would withstand any constitutional challenges.”
In discussing the violence in these clubs, Kelly said:
- "We are talking about saving children's lives along with the adults. If the owners say it's a problem in the parking lot we need to hold someone accountable. ... We want accountability for these proprietors. We will withdraw their application or revoke their license.”
There was discussion of existing fire codes, overcrowding in the clubs and past murders.
A judge in Richmond, Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr., refused to halt liquor sales in Cotton Club nightclub, a club that had been allegedly linked to gun shootings and violence. It was indicated by the judge's ruling, however, that the city failed to prove a link to the violence and the business. The police indicated that seven people had either been shot, stabbed or beaten in the vicinity of the club, although no one had been killed. It was reported that part of the Cotton Club would be closed but the restaurant and lounge portion that was downstairs would remain open. Fourth Precinct Commander, John Hall said he was disappointed with the judge's decision and said that the department wanted improvements. Officer schedules would be changed for additional support on weekend nights. It was also reported that neighbors and the Downtown Neighborhood Association were also concerned.
- "Menino signs "Imette's Law" requiring background checks for bar bouncers" (PDF). SLRA/Boston Herald/. March 17, 2007.
- "Bill A02629". New York State Assembly. January 21, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "Entertainment Commission-City and County of San Francisco-MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL HEARING-City Hall". San Francisco Government-SFGOV.ORG. January 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "New York City plan could help Shreveport". The Times Shreveporttimes.com. November 21, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- "Where's the Party? Looking for Fun in Baltimore's Under-21 Nighlife Wasteland". CityPaperOnline.com. August 23, 2000. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
- "OKC councilman seeks ways to curb club violence". Tulsa World. March 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "Club violence arises". NewsOK.com. March 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "How OKC is reacting to violence". March 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "Nightclub can still serve alcohol: Judge: City failed to prove link between Cotton Club, violence". Richmond Times Dispatch, TMC.NET NEWS. February 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.