No DUI Checkpoints in Your State? Drive-Thru Windows Are the Next Best Thing

Some states use DUI checkpoints to catch drunk drivers. What do other states do? Apparently they rely on fast food drive-thru windows, which are to impaired drivers what flypaper is to flies.

drive-thru-windows-attract-drunk-driversHot eats, rap sheets. A few days ago a man in Pulaski County, Kentucky went through a Dairy Queen drive-thru window while drunk. He was tested and found to be hosting twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

Sweet dreams. Last month, a woman in Malone, New York fell asleep in the drive-thru line at the local McDonald’s. The smell of alcohol prompted a police call, and the woman was awakened and arrested for drunken driving.

Unhappy meal. In April an Aurora, Colorado man got the munchies at 1:30 a.m., so he headed to the local McDonald’s. He was having trouble pronouncing the names of food items clearly, and also picked a fight with another customer in line. An employee called the police, who recognized the man as one they’d ordered not to drive earlier that night. He was arrested for DUI.

I’m losin’ it. It seems that alcoholic rage makes a drinker an easy mark for law enforcement. A man in Louisville, Kentucky started yelling at the drivers in line in front of him at a McDonald’s drive-thru. Once again, the cops were called because he slurred his words and smelled of alcohol. He also had marijuana and cocaine on him, and for some reason was driving a car with the VIN number scratched off. His driving privileges have presumably been scratched as well.

Your Fender Deserves a Break Today. That same month, in Burbank, California, a man managed to collide with another car in the line at a McDonald’s drive-in. Also drunk, he had also been unwise enough to bring his 10-year-old daughter with him, so he was arrested for multiple crimes.

Man With a Beef. Ronald doesn’t get all the grief: last March a man ordered food at a Wendy’s drive-thru in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Once again, he smelled like a distillery, and hurled verbal abuse not at the drivers in front of him but at the restaurant employees. For some reason, it’s never the quiet drunks that visit fast food windows.  He was arrested, of course.

Sweet dreams II. And in Madeira, California a man fell asleep at a restaurant drive-thru window. Police were able to surround the car and wait for the man to wake up and take a sobriety test, which he failed.

Why do drive-in food windows attract so many drunk drivers? It’s the classic bad decision: a person is hungry, and decides that the need for immediate satisfaction outweighs the danger of being behind the wheel. The very element that makes the decision bad – the alcohol – is the element that impairs the driver’s good judgement.

38 states in the US conduct sobriety checkpoints. But all 50 states have drive-thru fast food windows. They weren’t designed to catch drunk drivers, but for some reason they’ve become a second line of defense. Want fries with your DUI?