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NRA Alcohol Industry News

 We Keep Up With The News, So Can You!

Our industry is always changing, and making headlines. That's why the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation created this section to keep you well informed and well prepared. So get the latest news now, then bookmark this link and check back often.

Glass Shapes Confuse Even Experienced Bartenders
According to a recently published study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), many people misjudge volume based on the shape of the container into which it is poured. This phenomenon, often referred to as "portion distortion," specifically relates to the unintentional pouring of more alcohol into a short, wide glass than into a tall, thin glass. In some instances a cocktail in a short, wide glass contained as much as a quarter more alcohol than the pourer intended.

The BMJ study investigated whether training and experience could correct this tendency by comparing the pouring habits of a group of students and a group of experienced bartenders. All participants were asked to pour 11/2-ounce shots from a bottle into one of two types of glasses: short and wide and tall and slender. The students poured 30 percent more into the short glasses than the tall glasses. The experienced bartenders also overpoured, placing 20 percent more alcohol into the short glasses than the tall glasses.

British Medial Journal, February 2006

Horses, Bicycles Exempt from Drunk-Driving Laws in South Dakota
State lawmakers in South Dakota recently decided that "drunk driving" on horses and bicycles is acceptable. The state Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill 6-1 that will exempt horses and bikes from drunken-driving laws. Intoxicated individuals who either pedal or saddle up to get home cannot be arrested for drunk driving.

Senator Lee Schoenbeck believes it will make the roads safer for other motorists, stating that he would much rather have a "drunk on a bike" than in a car. Former Senator Gene Abdallah agreed. "I can't believe that a horse is going to intentionally run into anything," Abdallah said. "This is a good avenue to get some people home."

Those opposed to the bill stated that there have been arrests in several counties for riding horses while intoxicated. In one instance, a drunken rider passed out and his horse was struck by a car, injuring several people. To combat this problem, legislators in favor of the bill suggested that intoxicated individuals be charged with disorderly conduct.

Source:, February 2006

Texas Lawmakers to Investigate Agency Citing Drinking Diners
Over the past year, officers of the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC) have cited more than 2,000 individuals for public intoxication in bars and restaurants even before they have left the establishment. Complaints from the public led the Texas House committee, which oversees the TABC, to call a hearing to investigate the agency's use of potentially "heavy-handed" tactics in curbing alcohol-related incidents.

Tracey Evers, executive director of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, stated that the association supports the goal of reducing alcohol-related accidents and does not condone breaking the law but fears the citations "will create an environment where Texans and visitors are afraid to have a couple of drinks with their dinner."

Undercover operators can cite or arrest individuals for "not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties." In Texas, public intoxication is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and jail time up to 12 hours. No blood or breathalyzer tests are required for TABC officers to cite, arrest, or jail restaurant patrons.

The TABC stated that "just because someone is not driving or has a designated driver, it does not make it legal to become intoxicated in a public place to the extent that the person may be a danger to him/herself or others." In addition, the TABC's program, entitled "Sales to Intoxicated Persons," can also be applied to the bartenders and waitstaff who serve the alcohol.

Nation's Restaurant News, April 10, 2006

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