Walnut Creek police will no longer issue full liquor licenses

February 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Walnut Creek police are no longer issuing full liquor licenses to new businesses due to an increase in violence outside downtown nightclubs.

The latest problem happened Sunday around 2 a.m. when police had to break up a fight downtown. Overall, police say aggravated assaults have risen 16 percent, and DUIs increased 21percent in 2012 from the previous year. However, not everyone thinks restricting licenses is the solution.

"There's a lot of restaurants in Walnut Creek but we believe there's room for more healthy competition and we don't want to stifle that," said Prima restaurant owner John Rittmaster.

The Walnut Creek Police Department took control of alcohol permits in 1997 after the Alcohol Beverage Commission deemed the city saturated with permits. There are 170 businesses that have full liquor licenses.