Shelby, OH – A bartender at the American Legion in Shelby, Ohio, was fired after she alerted police that one the bars regular patrons was too drunk to drive.
Twyla DeVito came into work to find one of the bar’s regulars already “hammered” according to the description to she gave to local station 10 TV. Although she served the man in question on beer, DeVito said she “started to try to slow it down, serving him.”
But when the man got up to leave, DeVito called the police and warned them that he was by her observations too drunk to drive.
“I called the police and said ‘We have a very drunk person leaving the bar. He is going to kill someone or himself,” DeVito told 10 TV.
A police officer was dispatched to the area and quickly found the driver. A breathalyzer showed the driver was a little over twice the legal with a blood alcohol level of .167.
Mike Ramey was then arrested and charged with drunk driving.
Even though both the police and DeVito’s boss though she had done the right thing she was fired.
Two days after the incident, DeVito received a call from her boss, “He said ‘I’m going to have to fire you because it’s bad for business to have a bartender that will call the cops,” DeVito said.
The commander told 10 TV that even though DeVito did the right thing morally; her actions were not good for business.
Although the state of Ohio, like many states, doesn’t have a law which requires bartenders to notify police of a drunk driver, if the person leaves a bar and causes an injurious or fatal accident they can be held liable for the accident.
Even though a bartender is the not the irresponsible person, who decided to drink too much or risk the public safety, in the end they were the ones who served the alcohol. Technically, the bartender is the person who made it possible for the customer to get drunk in the first place. So this puts a bartender in a tough situation, either they try to keep the drunk driver of the street or they potentially face future lawsuits if anyone is injured.
This happened very recently in Florida, when an underage girl who worked as a bartender at a popular club on the South Beach Strip killed a pedestrian. In this incident the girl, Karlie Tomica, stayed to have drinks at the bar where she worked and left very intoxicated. On her way home she struck and killed a local chef in what was describes as a “horrific accident.” She then fled from the scene of the accident; two hours after her arrest her blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.
Tomica was apprehended and placed under arrest. Just days after the accident, the family of Chef Stefano Ricolletti filed a wrongful death suit against Tomica and the Nikki Beach club, where she worked for serving her the excessive amount of alcohol.