Federal Court Rules Virginia’s Liquor Code Enforcement Unconstitutional

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

In particular, the court found that the Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations prohibiting “lewd” behavior didn’t pass constitutional muster, because they’re unevenly enforced–in this case, they were being enforced on bars in Virginia Beach, but not on outdoor music venues that also serve alcohol.

This could be good news for David Ruttenberg in the Rack ‘n’ Roll case. A significant portion of the state’s case for revoking his liquor license was that he allowed lewd behavior to go on in his bar. But as Gret Letieq has pointed out, the violations cited in the complaint against Rack ‘n’ Roll were pretty tame (a couple of girls flashing their breasts during Mardi Gras), particularly when compared to what goes down (pardon the pun) in other bars in the area, including one just down the road.

If uneven enforcement is the problem, I think Virginia’s ABC has no choice but to toss out the violations related to lewd behavior in its complaint against Ruttenberg.

I know I’ve promised a bombshell in this case for months, now. It’s still coming. Just need to get everything checked out first.

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