The New York State Liquor Authority has denied permits to remain open all night New Years Eve to more than 40 nightclubs.
The denials mark the first enforcement of a rule that allows the board to deny special all-night permits to any clubs that the liquor authority has pending charges against, the New York Post reported Friday.
The decision follows a wave of violent incidents that occurred this year in and around clubs, including the rape and slaying of 18-year-old Jennifer Moore and the killing of 24-year-old Imette St. Guillen.
The move has surprised and angered many nightclub owners, who in the past have had no trouble obtaining permits to remain open past the legally-mandated 4 a.m. closing time.
"This policy has never been applied on New Year's Eve," said Robert Bookman, a lawyer for the New York Nightlife Association.
"It's being done at this very late hour when parties have already been planned -- it's extremely unfair and likely illegal," he said.