New county ordinance closes bars at 2 a.m.

File Photo (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A new ordinance takes effect next month requiring all bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to close at 2 a.m.

The ordinance covers the unincorporated areas of Charleston County and goes into effect December 1. It was supposed to be in place October 1 but council postponed the date to allow businesses more time.

Charleston County Council passed the amendment to Section 13-3 of the Charleston County Code on June 18 after a public hearing.

The ordinance reads:

Commercial establishments which allow for the on-premises consumption of beer, ale, porter, wine, and/or alcoholic liquors shall be prohibited from operating between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

The entire ordinance can be found by clicking here.

This amendment changes the old ordinance that prohibited the sale of alcohol from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. but did not prohibit the business from being open as long as they were selling food. The old ordinance also allowed the sale of "sealed containers" for "consumption off the premises."

You can see the old ordinance here.

The City of Charleston has a similar code prohibiting businesses that serve alcohol from operating between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.