Cocktails & Spirits

American Beverage Institute To Police: No Sobriety Checkpoints, Please

The American Beverage Institute is calling on police to forgo holiday DUI checkpoints in favor of more effective alternatives.

According to ABI's managing director Sarah Longwell, "Sobriety checkpoints have been proven ineffective at stopping drunk drivers." Longwell goes on to say that "roadblocks target moderate drinkers instead of hard core alcohol abusers", the "root cause of today's drunk driving problem.

What is the American Beverage Institute? According to its website, the

ABI is a "Washington D.C. restaurant trade association that protects

the on-premise dining experience and defends the right to drink

moderately and responsibly prior to driving." In a nutshell, it's an

association of restaurants that want to keep America drinking ... in


For instance, the website

(funded by ABI) states that most alcohol-related traffic fatalities

occur when the drunk driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of about

.19 percent (the legal limit is .08 percent BAC).

The website

also states that "numerous studies have shown that a driver operating a

vehicle while using a hands-free cell phone is more dangerous than a

driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent BAC. Distracted

driving, especially texting while driving, is responsible for an

ever-increasing proportion of traffic deaths."

In that spirit,

the ABI would like the police to stop with the roadblocks. Ironically,

the police might just agree on that point. We asked the City of Miami

Police Department if they were planning any sobriety checkpoints for

Labor Day weekend.

"Nothing that I'm aware of," said public information officer Kenia Reyes, "and I would have gotten notification by now."


before you think the po-po is giving you permission to drink up and

have a good time, the police will still be out and about. And

Reyes has some sage wisdom if you want to have a happy and incident-free


"As we always say, if you drink you have three options. You can surrender your car keys, you can call a friend, or call a cab."


asked Reyes if there's any legal gray-area where you can drink

and drive. She said that because of the way alcohol works differently on

everyone based on age, body weight, and other factors, that she would

rather not comment except to say, "better to avoid a problem, than to

later lament."

If you are drinking, AAA is offering a free,

confidential Tow-and-Go service this weekend to both members and

non-members. The 24-hour service is available from August 31 to

September 3. Call 1-800-AAA-HELP and a tow truck will give you and your

car a ride home (within 10 miles).

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss