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Thread: Designated driver says bar tossed him for not drinking

  1. #1
    and your little dog too
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default Designated driver says bar tossed him for not drinking

    from st petersburg times

    The bar owner says he didn't tell anyone to buy drinks or leave, but a police report says otherwise.
    By ANNE LINDBERG, Times Staff Writer
    Published August 3, 2006


    PINELLAS PARK - For 15 years, Gary Maujean Jr. has spent Fridays at Carlie's Lounge, sipping Cokes and water and listening to the band.

    But two months ago, Maujean says he was thrown out of the bar because he refused to drink alcohol. Now he's suing the owner for cuts and bruises he says he suffered that night.

    "He told me I either needed to order alcohol or leave the bar," said Maujean, who was the designated driver for his wife and three friends that night. "It's ridiculous that someone would actually do that because you have to have a designated driver."

    The suit, filed Wednesday in Pinellas County, also asks a judge prohibit Carlie's from "forcing patrons to drink alcoholic beverages."

    "It's a public safety issue," said Maujean's attorney, Tom Carey of Clearwater. "It's amazing that we have to go to this extent."

    Carlie's owner, Vincent Romano, denied the accusations Wednesday.

    "That's totally a lie," Romano said. "The customer was falling asleep at the bar."

    When a reporter pointed out that Maujean said he was sitting at a table, Romano agreed that was where the incident began. But Romano maintained that he never touched Maujean while he was inside the bar and that he did not ask Maujean to leave because he was drinking water.

    There is no bar policy requiring patrons drink alcohol, he added.

    However, according to a Pinellas Park police report, Romano told officers "he requested a customer later identified as Gary Maujean to leave the establishment because he was not purchasing drinks."

    Maujean, 37, has been going to Carlie's, 7020 49th St. N, most Friday nights since he was 22 or 23 years old. He even met his wife there.

    When there, Maujean said he drinks one beer at the most, but usually he sticks to Cokes and water. Maujean is an epileptic who takes Tegretol, a drug that does not mix with alcohol. That's why he is always the designated driver for his wife and friends. He never had a problem before, he said.

    Until June 2, Maujean said no one seemed to have a problem with his abstinence. That night, he and his wife went to Carlie's around 8 p.m. with three friends.

    His wife had a Blue Hawaiian and the friends had mixed drinks and ordered bar food. They began a tab and had several refills. Around 11 p.m., Maujean went to the bar and asked for water. The bartender gave him a glass of water with ice as Romano watched, Maujean said. Maujean returned to his table.

    Shortly after, Maujean said, the waitress came over and said something, which he understood to mean that he needed to order alcohol.

    "As Maujean stood to leave, Romano came over and grabbed his right arm, he said.

    "He grabbed me and said he wanted to talk to me outside," Maujean said. "I pulled away from him, got him off my arm, and then I calmly walked outside with him."

    Once outside, Maujean said Romano "gets in my face and tells me all I've had tonight is a Coke and water. (He said), 'Either you order a drink or get the hell out of the bar.' I told him I was the designated driver."

    According to Maujean: They traded more comments and Romano turned to go back inside. In doing so, he flung the door open and hit Maujean, cutting his arm. Maujean shoved the door back at Romano. When he did, the bouncer "tackled" him from behind and pushed Maujean into the railing, bruising Maujean's side.

    Romano tried to apologize, but Maujean said he called police and an ambulance.

    Maujean received 18 stitches along the inside of his left elbow.

  2. #2
    Black Spiral Dancer's Avatar RedHead Admirer Supreme!
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, England

    Default Re: Designated driver says bar tossed him for not drinking

    The strange thing is, over here, soft drinks can be more expensive to buy in a bar, so the bar owner won't argue if someone sits all night drinking pints of coke. They'll be coining it in. You're more likely to be thrown out for drinking too much alcohol or for smoking.

  3. #3
    keiko's Avatar baker of geekery
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Default Re: Designated driver says bar tossed him for not drinking

    ONCE i had a similar problem. At my fave bar in burbank, sardo's, where for years i was a regular rob and i would go in early, and to start order two waters with lemons. A new waitress who, i guerss missed the hugs we greeted her boss with, told us she wouldn't serve us water, as we weren't spending money and there fore would not be giving her money. I told her, fine, bring me a brandy and a water, and your boss. Seymore switched her section for the night with the cute little blond waitress and from then on the other girl didn't work tuesdays.

    the whole thing is retarded. every bar i've ever been in charges the same $3 for a coke as it does for a beer. the two drink minimum requires that you pay for two drinks, they could be martinis or ginger ale, as long as you spend money.


  4. #4
    mmmcherry's Avatar CHERRALICIOUS!!!
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    kamloops bc canada

    Default Re: Designated driver says bar tossed him for not drinking

    hah shit... ive never heard of a bar in canada that would throw someone out for not drinking alcohol... my dad though, one night when i was on the way to a concert at a bar, he kept trying to tell me that some bars have a 3 drink minimum or something, and gave me more money to buy drinks. MY DAD is saying this, and he doesnt even drink and has never been to a bar in vancouver as far as i know, in the 10 years or so that weve lived here... hahaa and here ive been going to bars and seeing my favorite bands since i was like 15 and not even legally in there haha... i rarely drink anyways, and even more rarely drink at bars, cause the drinks are so expensive... ill usually just get an iced tea, and drink that, itl last me the whole night with maybe one refill... hahaa... THAT is really expensive even, like 5 or 6 bucks for the 2 NON ALCOHOLIC iced teas. lame.

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