Real Life. Real News. Real Voices.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.
Join HuffPost Plus
Food & Drink

A McDonald's Location Is Now Breathalyzing Customers To Deter Drunkards

Youths gather outside a McDonald's restaurant in London, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011.  About 1,200 McDonald's restaurants in Britain will begin displaying the calorie count of each food and drink item on their wall-mounted menu boards this week, as part of a government-led program to fight obesity and promote healthier eating, the chain said Sunday. McDonald's already puts calorie information on its Web site and the back of its tray liners, but this is the first time the figures will be displayed prominently in its restaurants outside the U.S. The chain has similar calorie menu boards in New York City, which became the first in the U.S. to put a calorie posting law in place in 2008.The British program is voluntary, and relies on partnering companies to fulfill their health pledges. Other chains that have signed up to the British Department of Health calorie display program include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Youths gather outside a McDonald's restaurant in London, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. About 1,200 McDonald's restaurants in Britain will begin displaying the calorie count of each food and drink item on their wall-mounted menu boards this week, as part of a government-led program to fight obesity and promote healthier eating, the chain said Sunday. McDonald's already puts calorie information on its Web site and the back of its tray liners, but this is the first time the figures will be displayed prominently in its restaurants outside the U.S. The chain has similar calorie menu boards in New York City, which became the first in the U.S. to put a calorie posting law in place in 2008.The British program is voluntary, and relies on partnering companies to fulfill their health pledges. Other chains that have signed up to the British Department of Health calorie display program include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Bad things can happen when you walk into a McDonald's while you're drunk. If you're lucky, you might get away with just ordering way more food than you meant to. If you're not, you might find yourself arrested, or even punched out cold by one of the employees.

One McDonald's location in Cambridge, England, recently implemented a new policy that could make all these issues a distant memory. According to the Daily Mirror, the branch, mere blocks from Cambridge University and its 19,000 students, has started making would-be customers blow into breathalyzers before they enter, and is refusing to admit anyone who registers a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit of 0.8 percent.

The stated rationale for the policy, which is being underwritten by local police, is to keep drunk college students out of the restaurant for safety reasons. The location, which is open 24 hours a day, is apparently a "hotspot" for such students.

McDonald's sales have been plummeting in recent years, in part because young people today seem to be less interested in the chain than the young people of yesteryear. This week, McDonald's new CEO Steve Esterbrook announced plans for a major corporate restructuring that he said would focus less than before on targeting so-called Millennial consumers. Between this news and last week's announcement that an Altoona, Pennsylvania location is refusing service to unaccompanied minors, though, it seems like certain franchisees are already way ahead of him.

McDonald's Secret Menu