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Designated Driver Law Tested

January 24th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

A Clearwater woman who claims she was refused service in a bar may be the first test case of a new state law. In July, lawmakers made it a crime for bars to refuse to serve non alcoholic beverages to designated drivers. The one catch is that patrons must tell the bartender they are a designated driver. Cindy Hill is the chief of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages for the state, and says if true, the bar could be punished.

“Theoretically, if an administrative case were filled, which is what wed be looking at against licensing, there are violations that could be sanctioned,” Hill said. “And in this particular case, if our investigation proved that this in fact did occur and was a violation of law, your looking at a first offense of a thousand dollars.”

The law was created after a bar in Pasco county threw out a designated driver and refused to serve non alcoholic drinks.

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