The City of Denver wants to crack down on restaurants and small businesses by escalating public health violation fines 400% for food safety, leash laws, excessive noise, odors, pool rules and of course, COVID-19 crimes.

Instead of $1,000 maximum fines, the city could hand out $5,000 tickets for these violations:

Public health director Bob McDonald told Denver City Council the fines are viewed by businesses as merely the “cost of doing business,” and need to be hiked in order to compel compliance and reduce court challenges. 

However, city data shows about a third of last year’s 949 citations ended up in court, Axios Denver reports.

“A single $5,000 fine, for a mistake, could easily close a restaurant,” Colorado Restaurant Association CEO Sonia Riggs tells Axios. “Many restaurants have brand new staff, and accidents are sure to happen.”


She suggested the city’s health department take a “partnership approach” instead and work with the industry to get new staff trained to foster compliance.

Do Denver bureaucrats and the city council really believe all these affected businesses will be more compliant in handing over $5,000 than they were with $1,000 of their hard-earned money?

This is nothing more than a shakedown of restaurants,  businesses, and individuals already struggling to recover from Colorado’s mandated shutdowns. 

Colorado is quickly losing status as a state favorable to doing business.

Extorting five grand from mom and pop shops or because Fido is in violation of a leash law is just greedy.