New legislation presented Monday to Maine lawmakers would allow bars in the state to serve alcohol until 2 a.m.

Rep. Wayne Parry, R-Arundel, told the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee the bill would help local businesses compete for tourist dollars with Canada and other New England states.

“In talking to many of the businesses in our tourist industry, this is an issue,” Parry said.

In Maine, alcohol cannot be served after 1 a.m. The Portland Press Herald reported that Parry's bill would allow cities and towns that have their own police departments to serve customers until 2 a.m.

He said each community could decide whether to extend serving hours, and it wouldn't be a statewide mandate.

Some committee members were concerned that people might drive from one town to another to get a few more drinks.

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