05/05/2015 11:44 am ET Updated May 05, 2015

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


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.



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