Every 51 minutes, drunk driving ends a life.
Driving while intoxicated is a very serious issue, and one resturant is taking bold steps to make sure parents don’t drink and then get behind the wheel with kids in the car. Peddler’s Bar and Bistro in Clifton Park, New York, has instituted a new rule that parents who are dining with their children are only allowed to have one alcoholic drink with their meal.
“I could never live with myself knowing that I killed somebody driving,” Melisa Gravelle, the general manager of the restaurant told ABC News. “I could never do that, and it’s a choice that you can avoid.”
I have to admit this policy is a bit odd to me. While every parent (driving or not) should exercise caution and moderation while enjoying alcohol around their children, it does not make much sense to limit only parents to one adult beverage. If the owner really wants to decrease the risk of accidents, she should make sure that EVERYONE only has one drink—not just parents. After all, it doesn’t matter if the parent behind the wheel is sober if other people on the road are possibly inebriated and driving dangerously.
Additionally, you could argue that this policy puts an undue burden on the servers in this scenario. They are the ones who have to tell the parents that they can only have one drink, and they are the ones who have to deal with any possible questions and hostility.
“[The servers] do get berated at the tables and some come back very upset, but the managers go to the table and they explain,” Gravelle told ABC News.
Wow. Explanation or not, this tension could throw off the whole energy of the meal and lead the server to wind up with a poor tip. And what if a group or a couple wants to order a bottle of wine for the table? Will the server have to hover watchfully to ensure that mom or dad only drinks one glass and no more?
Ultimately, this policy is coming from a good place, but in my opinion, it feels as though parents are being singled out for public scrutiny, when we all should be held accountable for our decisions to drive after drinking.
If the restaurant owners really wanted to ensure that parents don’t drink and drive, they could offer complimentary mocktails for adults dining with children, or raise awareness and funds by hosting events for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In the end, I think that would do much more to keep our roads safe, rather than railing against parents who want a second glass of pinot with their meals.
[h/t: Food and Wine]