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'Sober hour' recommended for bars in downtown San Marcos

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Will bars implement a "sober hour" at the end of the night? Courtesy of City of San Marcos / Facebook

KVUE — In an effort to provide solutions to one of downtown San Marcos' most pervasive issues, the students behind the University Star editorial board used their opinion page this week to urge local bar owners to stay open an extra hour.

The idea, nicknamed "sober hour," suggests bars stop serving alcohol at 2 am, then round up an unconsumed drinks and remain open until 3 am. The 10 students making up the Texas State paper's editorial board say they believe that would give drunk customers time to sober up before making their way home, as well as access to restrooms and water.

"We're not advocating for a lack of individual responsibility," said opinions editor Imani McGarrell. "The system only works if people take responsibility for their actions. Don't, you know, take a bunch of shots right before last call just because you know that extra hour will be there."

"That way, you don't put someone who's maybe had a few to many out on the street and they're getting in trouble," said managing editor Odus Evbagharu.

San Marcos Police declined to comment on the concept, but say public intoxication is one of the most pervasive downtown issues.

Since January, SMPD Commander Kelly Earnest says data shows they've responded to more than 300 calls related to the issue. However, that resulted in far fewer arrests. Earnest says just over 20 percent were actually arrested. The rest of the incidents were resolved when officers were able to release the drunk person to a sober friend or ride.

Chris Fultze works the door for a local San Marcos bar and says to him the idea sounds like the equivalent of "drunk babysitting."

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Read the full story and see the video on KVUE.com

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