Could bars in Daytona Beach start to close sooner?

Should bars in Daytona Beach shut off taps at 2 a.m. like other cities in the county?

That’s the question Mayor Derrick Henry wants the city to consider.

The Mayor brought up the topic at a recent City Commission meeting, noting that it could curb late-night crime.

"There’s no doubt that we have the most crime in Volusia County, and there is no doubt that we have the most violent crime in the wee hours of the morning," he said.

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He also noted that the cost of police and fire compared to other cities in the county.

"We pay the most money in Volusia County for police. We pay the most money in Volusia County for fire. And it’s not even close," he said.

However, Rick Kitt owns several businesses along Seabreeze Boulevard and he said the change would do more harm than good.

"They’re gonna be drinking faster because they know they have less time to drink, and they’re gonna be drunker, and they’re also not gonna have a place to sit down and have food," he said about the impact the change would have on customers.

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He said though that he would still be able to serve food until 3 a.m., but that it would not be beneficial to stay open if they cannot serve drinks as well.

Mayor Henry noted it was a topic that would naturally come with a lot of pushback.

"Tough decision politically for some of us to make, but I believe it’s one that I'm prepared to consider," he said. Mayor Henry also added it would take time to even officially put the option on the table. 

"I don’t want to ram this down our throats, give everybody plenty of time to think about it, and you will hear from people who don’t want us to change that," he said. 

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Mayor Henry asked city staff to research the topic including statistics on crime. There is no timeline on when and if the item would be on an agenda.

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