ORANGE (CBSLA) — The officials overseeing liquor licenses have been enforcing coronavirus guidelines by making sure restaurants are remaining closed to in-person dining, but business owners and some lawmakers are pushing back.
More than a dozen Republican state lawmakers sent a letter to the head of the Alcoholic Beverage Control on Friday, demanding they stop enforcement on businesses that are operating “responsibly” during the pandemic.
Marianne Vrahnos, who serves at a restaurant in Orange risking its license by defying the state’s shutdown order, said she hopes that Orange County will follow behind San Diego and soon be able to reopen its restaurants again to outdoor dining.
“We want to stay open and we would love it if we didn’t have to worry about ABC, but we are following every protocol, even above and beyond,” Vrahnos said. “We lost so much revenue the first shut down. I was a manager now I’m a server because of the shutdown, and now we are trying to recoup what little we can, to keep the business going.”
Lawmakers claim that Alcoholic Beverage Control officials do not have the legal authority to enforce health rules, and can only go after bars and restaurants that are “endangering the public and disturbing the peace… failing to prevent fights, assaults, or public drunkenness.”