Chef Sues Over Virginia's Happy Hour Advertising Law - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Chef Sues Over Virginia's Happy Hour Advertising Law

Posted: Mar 28, 2018 5:02 PM Updated:

VIENNA, Va. (AP) - Chef Geoff Tracy has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Virginia's happy hour advertising law violates his First Amendment rights.

Tracy owns three restaurants in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Tracy told WTOP-FM that Virginia's law is restrictive, outdated and hurts his business.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Pacific Legal Foundation alleges that Virginia's happy hour advertising restrictions prevent restaurants from speaking freely and truthfully about their business.

The law prohibits the use of any terminology other than "happy hour" and "drink specials." Business owners cannot promote "two-for-one" drinks.

Tracy said he promotes specials such as "Wine down Wednesdays" and "$5 margaritas" at his Maryland and D.C. restaurants, but the same ads for his restaurant in Tysons Corner in Vienna, Virginia, would violate state law.

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