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Posted: 8/23/2001 4:19:21 AM EDT
The decision made public this week by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board means that strip club owners who serve liquor and beer can no longer be disciplined for allowing certain conduct by topless dancers — unless it is ruled lewd or obscene. State regulations forbid bars from serving alcohol if they have nude dancing, but some bars are allowed to serve alcohol if their dancers are topless. The case was filed by Renee Vicary, who owns Angels Sports Bar in Corona and lost her alcohol license last year after investigators said seven dancers had broken the regulation that bans them from caressing themselves. The ruling is "a weapon in the arsenal to stop the onslaught against protected speech," said Vicary's attorney Roger Jon Diamond. "It will make it much more difficult for cities to try to go after these clubs because it says that this kind of conduct is protected by the First Amendment." The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has until next month to decide whether to ask the state appellate court to review the case.
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