IAAM Fights Proposed Promoter Drug Liability Bill

The International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) has sent a letter to Congress, vehemently opposing Section 416A of proposed bill HR 3782, which the industry trade association (of over 3,000 managers of stadiums, arenas, theaters, convention centers, amphitheaters and auditoriums throughout the United States and the world), says would have a devastating economic effect on the concert and entertainment industry and the country. The IAAM supports other sections of the bill which "have tremendous merit and should be passed by Congress."

IAAM's opposition to Section 416A, which states that promoters will be held criminally liable at events where drugs are used, focuses on the following five points:

(1) It will have a "devastating economic impact on the concert and entertainment industry in this country… and will prevent promoters and facility managers, for fear of criminal prosecution, from booking any entertainment event where one instance of drug use or one instance of drug distribution may take place at the event.

(2) The language used is extremely vague, i.e. "promoter knows or reasonably ought to know"… will lead to uneven enforcement and selective prosecution of 'promoters' and facility managers in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Public Assembly…"

(3) "Section 416A will make promoters and facility managers liable for the criminal acts of third parties (the people that actually violate the drug laws)…in many states…businesses are generally not liable for the criminal acts of third parties, absence a showing of a special relationship or negligence."

(4) "Promoters and facility managers may not deny musical performances based on the content of the music in violation of the First Amendment…Both the rights of individuals to attend "raves" or techno-music concerts and their right to assemble in a public assembly facility are in jeopardy because of Section 416A.

(5) "Promoters and facility managers may not conduct searches that could not be performed by the State in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The question therefore arises as to the practicality of searches to eliminate the use of illegal drugs at facilities."

To review the letter in its entirety, go to www.iaam.org/Industry_News/Sensenbrenner.htm

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