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Horry County Council considers forcing bars to close earlier

New Bar Closing Time

Bars in Horry County may be forced to close at 2 a.m. if the County Council approves a proposal. The council will cast its first vote Tuesday on the new rule that all drinking establishments in its jurisdiction lock their doors at 2 a.m. Some coun
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Bars in Horry County may be forced to close at 2 a.m. if the County Council approves a proposal. The council will cast its first vote Tuesday on the new rule that all drinking establishments in its jurisdiction lock their doors at 2 a.m. Some coun

“Last call” could be coming earlier at Horry County bars.

Horry County Council is considering setting strict closing times for all establishments serving booze in unincorporated Horry County.

The council will cast its first vote Tuesday on the new rule that all drinking establishments in its jurisdiction lock their doors at 2 a.m. Some county bars close as late as 4 a.m.

Myrtle Beach council members indicated during their recent budget retreat that they are likely to follow suit, and consider stricter times for bars to close in the city limits.

The drafted county ordinance states that prolonged consumption of alcoholic beverages “often directly leads to volatile and dangerous situations,” which can endanger the health of residents and law enforcement officers.

There’s a spike [in crime] that happens right around 2 a.m. and after and it’s almost all public intoxication … people getting out in parking lots, fighting and carrying on, and that’s when we get so many arrests for public intoxication.

Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught

Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught said last week that the county’s intention is to cut down on early morning crime.

“There’s a spike that happens right around 2 a.m. and after and it’s almost all public intoxication … people getting out in parking lots, fighting and carrying on, and that’s when we get so many arrests for public intoxication,” Vaught said.

The ordinance requires three council votes, and if passed would take effect July 12.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson

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