An Ohio bartender has been fired for what the local police chief says was the right decision.
Twyla DeVito, who called the police on a patron who was later found to be driving while “a little over twice the legal limit,” was told by her employer at the American Legion Post in Shelby, Ohio, that she would be let go as a result, according to 10TV News. DeVito says she was told that “‘it’s bad for business to have a bartender that will call the cops.’”
But while DeVito faces unemployment as a result of trying to pull a drunk driver off the street, it may have been the right decision anyway: Police recently arrested a Texas bartender after undercover officers found her providing a patron with a few too many drinks, according to ABC affiliate KTRK in Houston.
(Firing bartenders for dealing with customers happens at even the most upscale of restaurants. P. J. Clarke's in Manhattan reportedly let go a famed bartender last year for attempting, unsuccessfully, to deal with an intoxicated man who was harassing other customers.)
DeVito’s employer, for its part, apparently stands by the decision. “If every patron who comes in here has to worry about the cops waiting for them when they leave, the place would be empty,” Mic Hubbard, a commander of the post, told 10TV News.
Drunk driving remains a serious problem across the country. More than 10,000 people died in the U.S. as a direct result of driving drunk in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And 341 of those deaths reportedly occurred in Ohio, one of only 16 states where the problem was getting worse, not better, as of 2010, according to the The Columbia Dispatch.
A 2008 survey found roughly one-fifth of people over 16 years old had driven within two hours of having a drink at some point within the past year.