POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s top liquor regulator has blocked Point Pleasant Beach’s midnight bar closing law from taking effect this Sunday.

The director of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued a stay of the law until legal proceedings on the propriety of the law can be concluded. The ruling in effect preserves the current 2 a.m. closing time indefinitely.

Boardwalk bars sought the stay, saying the borough has tried to extort money from them if they want to continue to stay open until 2 a.m.

The Borough Council passed the midnight closing law to try to crack down on early morning rowdiness by bar patrons returning to their cars in residential neighborhoods. Negotiations that would have had the bars pay extra fees to fund more police patrols fell apart.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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