Three Things to Remember if Questioned About Violating the State Health Order

On Behalf of | May 22, 2020 | Firm News

Ohio has put in place a state health order requiring social distancing at bars and restaurants. This order also bans groups of 10 or more people from congregating.The order is now being enforced by Ohio Investigative Unit, which routinely handles policing liquor violations. Here are three important things to remember, if you are questioned about violating the state health order. First, if given a verbal warning by an agent – calmly accept the warning. If you accept the warning, then the agent goes away and you don’t have any problems. But, if you don’t accept the warning, or if you argue or become belligerent, you are basically asking to be cited. Keep in mind, that stated purpose of this enforcement effort is to correct problem, not to cite individuals, bars or restaurants. Second, correct the problem by maintaining social distance, and by encouraging customers to remain seated and not to congregate in large groups. If you are a patron, you can simply choose to leave. If you are a restaurant or bar owner, you can encourage customer compliance. If a patron refuses to comply, you can politely ask them to leave. The agents will see that you are making an effort to comply, and will probably spare you an administrative citation, with could affect your liquor license. Third, if you are issued a citation either as a patron, or as a restaurant or bar owner, don’t just blow it off. You should take it seriously. Criminal citations can become part of a permanent criminal record; while administrative citations can carry substantial fines, and a suspension of a liquor license. If faced with a citation, you should promptly contact a qualified lawyer for assistance.