Business Owners: Part of Amber Alert Law Too Vague

Business Owners: Part of Amber Alert Law Too Vague

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Samantha Hayes reporting It has become routine to be searched for drugs and weapons at concerts and other public events. But those in the entertainment business say it is hard to catch everything all the time.

And that's why there is concern about a provision passed with the Amber Alert.

It is called the Illicit Drug and Anti-Proliferation Act. And if enforced, this law expands liability to property owners for their patrons' illegal drug use.

The national Amber Alert recently signed into law had overwhelming support, but quietly tacked onto that legislation at the last minute was a drug act.

The act states that any place-- that means concert venues, restaurants, bars-- any place that knowingly allows illegal drug use can be held liable. Local business owners say that's just too vague.

Kevin Monte of Port O' Call says, "We have a large establishment and somebody could easily be doing drugs in our bathroom. But I mean, it's something that-- what is the definition of 'knowing'?"

The Drug Enforcement Agency says the law is so new is has yet to be enforced anywhere in the country and tested in court.

It was introduced last year to counter the use of ecstacy and other drugs at all-night dance parties, but was criticized for unfairly targeting raves. So now the legislation is "venue neutral," and is not intended to target venues with security checks, only those that intentionally hold events for the purpose of using illegal drugs.

But those who promote and hold events like concerts say that's just a matter of interpretation.

"There is nothing that limits the enforcement. There's no clause that says it's exclusive to crack houses, or exclusive to raves," points out Kincade Bauer, executive director of Dark House Promotions. "It applies to any promoter or any concert or musical group, or anything like that."

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