Bill would allow bars, stores to refuse to sell alcohol to pregnant women
State Rep. Tommy Brann has introduced a plan that would allow restaurants, bars and stores in Michigan to refuse to serve or sell alcoholic beverages to a pregnant woman if they disclose they are pregnant.
Brann, a restaurant owner from Wyoming, introduced the measure today in recognition of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day.
“As a bar owner, my servers have, more than once, come to me and say they just do not feel right serving alcohol to a pregnant customer,” Brann said. “No salesperson or server should be required to sell a drink to someone who discloses they are pregnant, knowing the harm that can be done to their defenseless baby as a result.”
Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as well as a range of lifelong physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. Recent studies show that up to 1 in 20 U.S. school children may be on the FASD spectrum, a rate that is comparable to autism.
In 2018, an estimated 56.3 percent of women of reproductive age in Michigan, aged 18-44 years, reported one or more drinks of alcohol during the last 30 days and 18.4 percent reported binge drinking four or more drinks of alcohol on any one occasion during the last 30 days, according to the Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey.
Brann’s proposal, House Bill 6194, would allow a vendor or an employee of a vendor to refuse to serve or sell alcohol to a woman if she discloses she is pregnant.
Rep. Brann, the owner of Brann’s Steakhouse, says that the $300 weekly federal unemployment pandemic benefit is keeping his small business, and small businesses like it, from fully reopening. The House voted to end the benefit this coming Tuesday, June 22.