Should Bartender Who Reported Drunk Driver Be Given Her Job Back?

Police said she did the right thing, but her former employer said her actions were bad for business.

An Ohio bartender has been getting a lot of media attention lately after she was fired for reportedly calling police on a patron who left the bar drunk. According to a story by The Huffington Post, the man tested a little over twice the legal limit when stopped by police.

While she was hailed as a hero for doing the right thing by police, her employer fired her. The bartender, Twyla DeVito, is reported to have been told by her now former employer that her actions were “bad for business.” However, there have been instances when bars have faced lawsuits, such as this one in Florida in 2009, when a patron has left the bar and ended up killing someone in a DUI.

What do you think? Did the bartender do the right thing and should she get her job back? If not, should she sue her former employer for unfair dismissal?

Cian February 26, 2013 at 02:11 PM
She did the only thing she could really do. If the drunk did something because she / the bar got him that way, then she was also legally responsible. I imagine if she wanted she could sue the bar for firing her for following the law.
JL February 26, 2013 at 02:27 PM
I would say that Ms. DeVito's employer may lack good moral judgement and does not respect a situation that could have claimed lives. Firing his employee was selfish and short sighted. For every customer that he may have lost for being concerned about the safety of his community he may have gained the appreciation of a new patron who would feel safer because of his sound judgement. If I were her I would not want to work for someone who placed more value on the contents of his wallet over the lives of the potential innocent victims of a drunk driver.
Paul February 26, 2013 at 02:36 PM
I'm guessing the bartender was the one that served him?! Is the real problem that he was offensive to her in some way due to the alcohol?Reporting a drunk person is following the law? Should the bar owner have not fired her for violating the law which states you cannot serve a drunk person?
Glenn February 26, 2013 at 03:20 PM
What an irony. The bartender was an aider and abetter to the crime. She could save the business and ruin the business. Who claims responsibility? Bottom line, it's the irresponsible consumption of alcohol, as it has been since it's discovery.
Harnett Hawkdriver February 26, 2013 at 03:31 PM
The establishmnet has a legal obligation to shut-off a patron if they see the need or suspect they are a danger. Does this include stopping the driver using the only tools available? Yes. I am sure there is probably another establishment who would like to have a responsible employee working for them. After the un-lawful dismissal trial is over and she gets her settlement...
James McNamara February 26, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Ohio has some pretty specific text in their Dram Shop Act. As a former businessman, I think the bar owner should have the right to hire and fire as he (or she) sees fit, but then he or she also has a responsibility to the public. http://www.mrrlaw.com/a-drunk-walks-out-of-a-bar/
John B February 26, 2013 at 03:56 PM
It's my understanding she didn't serve him. She was coming in on her shift, did not serve him and he drove off drunk. She subsequently called authorities.
Mr. B February 26, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Don't forget to tip your server!
r patton February 26, 2013 at 04:45 PM
How would the owner react when the police walked in and arrested him for allowing the customer to leave drunk? It happend in Florida 4 years ago and the businessman lost EVERYTHING!
Big Ed February 26, 2013 at 10:31 PM
It's a difficult situation. When she came into work she knew he had had too much to drink but she served him anyhow. Ideally, she should have had the bartender that had been working before her handle the situation & gotton the man a ride or a taxi. If not she should have tried to help but If that failed, yes call the police. The establishment should loose its liquor license and a suit should be brought against the manager and the Legion.
Amy February 27, 2013 at 02:04 AM
Drunk people are good for drunkard related businesses. Drunk drivers are bad for everybody, businesses and innocent citizens alike.
odessa February 27, 2013 at 01:24 PM
This is the stupidest thing I have heard of to date. She was being responsible not only for a grown person who didnt realize he had had to much but many innocents on the road. That bar wouldnt take responsibilty if he/she went out and murdered by drunk driving or whatever else may have happened. They were worried about thier receipts at the end of the night. How can a bar be so heartless and uncaring. I hope she files for unemployment if she can and gets it.
Karsten Torch February 27, 2013 at 01:39 PM
There's so many nuances to this story, it's hard to say whether the firing was just or not. There may be a policy in place to call a cab, or to take their keys, or cut them off, or any number of things, which she violated. He may have said something to her he shouldn't, and she kept serving him and waited for her chance to call the cops. We don't know if there's extenuating circumstances. We do know that the drunk carried pretty much all the responsibility for his arrest, so regardless, I feel no pity for him. That being said, the bar owner can hire and fire as s/he sees fit. Unemployment? Sure, if the firing wasn't justified. Law suit? No. Hell no. You have no right to work, you only have the right to serve the employer at their will. Better make your pay worth it to them.
Lindsey February 27, 2013 at 01:41 PM
I feel like he may have been singled out because unfortunately many people leave bars drunk and drive home. However, I am happy there was one less drunk driver on the street.
Dee Welch February 28, 2013 at 04:38 AM
I wish the bartender at a "cocktail cove" bar on Lake Lanier in GA had reported the man who took the lives of my two sweet nephews ages 9& 13 by Boating Under the Influence last year, June 18th 2012 the man slammed into my brother's pontoon boat at high speed . She may have ruined the drunk's night and gave the boss reason to dismiss the 'bartender who will get you a DUI', but this woman possibly saved a life or maybe even many. I think the establishment should have called a cab but maybe he refused one. I think it must have been an extreme situation for her to be the one responsible for reporting the man who was a customer. She should be proud and I think taking them to court over this is worth a shot. I think she should be supported and praised; not fired and criticized for protecting innocent lives.
Ben February 28, 2013 at 09:11 AM
Drunk Drivers Kill & Hurt more people than any of the so call ban on the fire arms act does, thats in the news. But no one has wanted to ban Beer & Liquor. No I am not against Drinking, so don't go there, I am just telling like it is. I think the Bartender done the right think, but of corse there are always Two sides to the story
Good Grief Y'all March 02, 2013 at 03:22 PM
If the employer fired the bartender for following the law, he should pay her a severance. Hopefully, she'll find employment with a law-abiding establishment. Asking a drunk if he/she is too drunk to drive is an exercise in futility. Sober people have to intervene.


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