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Friday, February 13, 2009

DuPage outlaws BYOB at adult businesses

By James Kimberly
Tribune reporter
February 13, 2009

Responding to a fatal car wreck involving a driver who drank too much while visiting a strip club near DuPage Airport, the DuPage County Board has strengthened restrictions on adult businesses that allow patrons to drink. Under an ordinance passed this week, anyone with an open alcoholic beverage in an adult business or any employees who lets someone drink at an adult business would be subject to a fine of $1,000 or more.Although County Board members said no specific business was targeted, board member James Zay of Carol Stream said the only adult businesses in the county are Diamonds Gentlemen's Club near West Chicago and Zebulon adult bookstore near Roselle."It's not about the 1st Amendment right to be a strip club. It's that they are bringing liquor in there and they don't have a liquor license," said Zay, who spearheaded the push for the new ordinance, which will take effect in 30 days.

Zay proposed the law after a drunken patron left Diamonds on Jan. 4, 2006, and crashed head-on into another car, killing his passenger and the driver of the other car, April Simmons, who was pregnant with her first child. John Homatas, 27, of Wayne was sentenced to 12 years in prison for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.Zay said when Simmons' husband sued Diamonds over the crash, the attorney for the strip club argued the club was not liable because it had not served alcohol to Homatas. A Kane County judge rejected the argument, and Zay said he wanted to make sure it was not raised in another case."We are going to make sure we protect people who are out there, not only people who are going there but people who might be driving by," Zay said.

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