New York restaurant’s controversial alcoholic drink limit on customers with kids has everyone talking

A restaurant in New York has a unique policy when it comes to people with children drinking alcoholic beverages.

Peddlers Bar and Bistro located in Clifton Park said they limit patrons that are traveling with children in their cars to one drink per customer, WKBN reported.

“We love children,” general manager Melisa Gravelle told WKBN. “Everybody loves children and children don’t have a voice.”

She said the restaurant started enforcing the rule when it was making its summer preparations.

“I could never live with myself knowing that I killed somebody driving,” she said. “I could never do that; it’s a choice that you can avoid.”

Some customers do argue the nanny state policy.

“They (servers) do get berated at the tables and some come back very upset,” she said. “The manager goes to the table and they explain we’re not picking on parents, it’s just something that we feel in our hearts is something that we can do in order to help.”

But many customers think it’s a good policy.

“I’m a former educator and I think it’s a great policy,” customer Barb Buckley told WKBN. “When you think about the responsibility that a parent has to protect their children, I think it’s a great policy. I’m behind them 100 percent.”

Fellow customer Greg Culver agreed.

“Why take the chance? Definitely, doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “That way you keep those people off the road.”

A reader of the Times Union who was not happy with the restrictions wrote in an asked if this policy was legal.

“I am curious if the restaurant can legally do this,” the reader wrote. “I do not believe they can even legally deny a drink to a pregnant woman. Sure any restaurant staff member could call the police if they felt the person was too intoxicated to drive and refused a cab but I don’t know if this limit is okay. I can see someone being offended, if say they are there for an event that takes place over a few hours.”

But the Times Union explained that, by New York law, the policy is legal.

It is perfectly legal for Peddlers to have such a policy, according to a spokesman for the State Liquor Authority; the law says nothing about limiting drinks for whatever reason, other than it being illegal to serve someone who is obviously intoxicated. So Peddlers can’t be forced to serve someone a second (or third) alcoholic beverage.

The restaurant does have the legal right to enforce the rule and has been doing so since 2010.

Commenters on the Daily Mail, where the story was featured, did not like the “big brother” style intrusion.

“1984 – Big Brother is watching you,” wrote one reader.

“So people without kids can drink as much as they want and drive home and possibly cause an accident or hurt someone? Seems like if you’re going to make a rule it should apply to all the customers driving home not just family’s with kids,” commented another.

“How do they prove people drove instead of using a taxi? Are they going to go out and check auto registrations in the parking lot? asked another reader.

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