A New York state judge on Monday threw out a ban on large sugary drinks set to go into effect in New York City on Tuesday, calling the new regulation “arbitrary and capricious.”
Championed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a way to fight the city's growing obesity epidemic, the new regulation was to limit the sale of sugary beverages including non-diet sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened teas and other high-calorie drinks to just 16 ounces.
But the American Beverage Association and other business groups representing bars, restaurants and bodegas had sued to stop the new law, arguing, in part, that it would create an uneven playing field for businesses.
In his ruling, New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling agreed with that argument, calling the new regulation "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences.
"The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole," Tingling said. "The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule."