Tags: bartender | fired | drunk | patron

Bartender Fired for Telling Cops Drunk Patron Got Behind Wheel

Friday, 01 Mar 2013 12:37 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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An Ohio bartender was fired after she alerted police that a drunken patron was getting behind the wheel, a public service act local police say was the right thing to do.

Twyla DeVito said she was canned from her bartending gig at the American Legion Post in Shelby after reporting that one of her regulars who appeared drunk had gotten in his car and drove away. The man was also an officer with the American Legion veterans' organization, according to WBNS-10TV in Columbus, Ohio.

"He ordered a beer, I gave it to him, and then I started to try to slow it down, serving him," DeVito told the local TV station. "I called the police and said, 'We have a very drunk person leaving the bar. He is going to kill someone or himself.'"

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Police found the patron and arrested him for driving with a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, according to Shelby Police Chief Charles Roub.

Two days later, DeVito said she got a call from the post's commander firing her.

"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 told WBNS.

There is no law in Ohio that requires bartenders to report drunken drivers, but they are prohibited from serving intoxicated persons and could be held liable for any crash or injury that results, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
Mic Hubbard, DeVito's boss, defended his decision to fire his employee of almost a year.

"If every patron who comes in here has to worry about the cops waiting for them when they leave, the place would be empty," Hubbard told WBNS.

Even though she lost her job, DeVito stood by her choice to report the driver.

"If he had gotten in a wreck that would have been on me, because I was on my shift," DeVito told ABC News. "It was in a lose-lose situation. I choose to possibly save a life."

Shelby Police Chief Roub said DeVito did the right thing and criticized Hubbard for firing her.

"Here, we have someone that’s trying to do something right and ends up getting punished for it," Roub told WBNS.

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