Few communities have sober bartender laws

Neenah considers ordinance

Published On: Mar 24 2013 03:11:17 PM CDT
APPLETON, Wis. -

The eastern Wisconsin city of Neenah is considering an ordinance that would require bartenders to show up for work sober -- and ban them from drinking on the job.

A City Council committee is scheduled to consider the ordinance Tuesday and decide whether to send it to the full council.

Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson said the ordinance would let police hold bartenders accountable if they don't exert enough control over their patrons because they're serving while intoxicated.

Gannett Wisconsin Media report that few such ordinances are in place nationwide, and where such ordinances do exist, they result in few citations.

At least three Wisconsin communities regulate drinking by bartenders -- Jackson, La Crosse and Madison. But a Gannett Wisconsin Media check found that enforcement is spotty.