A proposed ban on large sugary soft drinks that was scheduled to go into effect on March 12 has been overturned by a State Supreme Court judge.
New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling ruled the ban as unconstitutional on Monday afternoon, and that the city was, "enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations."
Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, joined Bayside business leaders for a press conference Monday afternoon to criticize Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces, which was scheduled to go into effect on Tuesday.
“If you listen to what we’ve been saying in the last few months, the language that the judge uses in his ruling is the same we’ve been saying – that they are loopholes in the ban that make it arbitrary and capricious and that its consequences would be uneven,” said Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for Halloran.
The Health Department could not immediately be reached for comment.
Halloran said he has opposed the law because he believed it “intrudes on personal freedom and places an unnecessary burden on business owners.”
“It will affect some business owners disproportionately as some will still be allowed to sell the forbidden soft drinks, while others are not,” the councilman said during his press conference on Monday. “It will hit the small eateries the hardest and they are the least able to withstand it.”
Business owners along Bell Boulevard and leaders from the Bayside Village Business Improvement District said they had been concerned that the city’s Health Department was not educating merchants on the ban.
Bell Boulevard restaurant owners had said they were upset that the city did not seek input from business owners on the ban.
“I thought this was a free country,” said Jimmy Coady, owner of Bayside’s Cascarino’s. “It’s not worth it to open a business in New York City anymore.”