Wausau Mayor vetoes bartender sobriety law - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau Mayor vetoes bartender sobriety law

WAUSAU (WAOW) - The Mayor of Wausau vetoed a law on Wednesday that would require bartenders to be sober or nearly sober while working.

The city council passed the Server's Ordinance Tuesday night with an 8-2 vote. Under the proposal, bartenders could not have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.04.

Mayor Jim Tipple says he thinks the council needed more community input before voting.

Proponents say the law would allow servers to consume alcohol, but also remain attentive to their bar.

Some members of the service industry say the proposal is intrusive.

"It's upsetting because there are laws being put on the industry, where no one from the industry is being consulted," said Malarkey's Pub co-owner Tyler Vogt.

Police Chief Jeff Hardel says his officers have been called to bars and found bartenders drunk. Hardel says that makes them less attentive. Under the proposal, Hardel says if a bartender is found intoxicated, the bar would lose 25 points on its liquor license, jeopardizing its renewal.

"It's our belief that as a bar owner or bartender, you must have control of your business, have control of your environment, and your clientele that you are serving," said Hardel.

The council can override the mayor's veto with a two-thirds vote at their next council meeting on January 28th.

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