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Senators Bennett, Feinstein object to later alcohol sales during inauguration

SHARE Senators Bennett, Feinstein object to later alcohol sales during inauguration

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. senators are urging the District of Columbia to reverse a decision that allows bars, restaurants and nightclubs to serve alcohol later than usual during the inauguration.

The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation last week that will allow any establishment with a liquor license to serve alcohol an extra three hours, until 5 a.m., between Jan. 17 and 21.

In a letter Tuesday, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, wrote that extending the sale of alcohol will divert law enforcement resources away from their primary focus on security. Both Feinstein and Bennett are involved in planning President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

The senators are asking Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray to reverse the legislation, saying the benefits "are far outweighed by its possible consequences."

The mayor and council chairman could not immediately be reached for comment.