SHELBY, Ohio - A local bartender got fired from her job for calling police and alerting them to a drunken patron who was getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Twyla DeVito said she was proud to work at the American Legion Post in Shelby.
“They do a look of good for this community, for our veterans,” DeVito said.
Her tenure at the bar came to an abrupt end last week.
“I came into work, he was already there, pretty much hammered,” DeVito said.
DeVito said that the man was a regular at the bar and also served as an officer at the Legion Post.
“He ordered a beer, I gave it to him, and then I started to try to slow it down, serving him,” DeVito said.
She said that when he went to leave, she knew he was not in a state 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,’” the former bartender said.
Shelby Police Chief Charlie Roub said that one of his officers quickly located the driver and came to the same conclusion.
According to the police report, Mike Ramey blew a 0.167.
“That’s a little over twice the legal limit,” Roub said.
Ramey was arrested and charged with drunken-driving.
Two days later, DeVito said that she got 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 of the post would not make a comment to 10TV News on camera but said that while DeVito did the right thing morally, she did not do the right thing for the business.
“If every patron who comes in here has to worry about the cops waiting for them when they leave, the place would be empty,” said Mic Hubbard.
Roub said that he was not pleased with that comment.
“Here, we have someone that’s trying to do something right and ends up getting punished for it,” Roub said.
DeVito said she did what she felt she had to do.
“I stand by what I did, and I would do it again,” DeVito said.
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there is no law requiring a bartender to report a drunken-driver.
Bartenders are prohibited from serving an intoxicated person and could be held liable for any crash or injury that results, though.
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