On March 7, U.S. Chief Judge Barbara Lynn listened to the pros and cons of allowing adult entertainment clubs to stay open past 2 a.m.
Dallas city attorneys are requesting an ordinance for these clubs to close between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. due to increased violence at these businesses. They insist that more aggravated assaults and some fatal shootings occur in the early morning hours, and the clubs’ clientele generates a dangerous environment.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Dallas City Council voted unanimously for the curfew to go into effect for these adult establishments. Still, the Association of Club Executives of Dallas filed a lawsuit which bought more time for a decision.
Club owners expressed on Monday how the dancers in the clubs are regular people, like the individuals who come into those strip clubs.
“Two of them are sitting right behind you,” said Lloyd Ace, vice president of The Men’s Club of Dallas, jokingly as he referred to the two gray-haired plaintiffs’ attorneys in the courtroom.
Daniel Linz, an expert witness for the club owners, claimed that the city should consider population, demographics, hotels, fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and nightclubs in the proximity of the adult entertainment clubs. He also added that not all or most of the crimes could be attributed to the strip clubs, and the city’s study was “not scientifically valid.”
If the businesses are forced to close between 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., club owners will have to lay off employees, and could lose in profit.
Still, the city argues that there is not enough police staff to ensure safety in these areas during those hours, especially since those in the adult industry have not listened to police safety recommendations.
Those who violate the ordinance will have their operating license suspended for up to 30 days and could receive a fine of up to $4,000, plus up to one year of jail time. Also, the minimum age for sexually oriented business employees would be raised from 18 to 21 years old.
There is no word on Judge Lynn’s final decision.