Baby Gets Alcohol by Mistake at Applebee's

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True, Alcohol & Drugs, Funny Stuff

At first, he got really, really sleepy and put his head down on the table. A few minutes later, he was chattering away -- saying hello to everyone in the joint and generally being Mr. Life of the Party.

You know how babies are when they get drunk.

And 15-month-old Dominic Dill-Reese of Oak Park, Mich., was definitely plowed. After hitting the ol' sippy copy at Applebee's in Madison Heights April 8, the Detroit News reports he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 -- enough go get arrested for drunk driving.

Fortunately, his parents were driving that night. They tell the paper they had no idea they were taking their son out for a baby bender. They ordered him apple juice. Instead, the waiter served him an alcohol-infused margarita mix.

When Dominic started acting strangely, his mother Taylor Dill-Reese took a taste and found he was boozing it up.

"We took it from him, and he kind of laid his head on the table and dozed off a little bit, then woke back up and got real happy and was saying bye to people, hi to people," she tells WOOD, the NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich. "His food came, and he wouldn't eat it."

His parents took Dominic to a nearby hospital where doctors told them he would be fine.

Police tell the Detroit News a bottle at the bar was apparently mislabeled. Melissa Racer, a spokeswoman for Applebee's, released a statement to the paper saying the incident is being investigated internally, as well as by local police. Applebees is also changing its policy for dispensing and storing fruit juice, she adds.

Specifically, wait staff will pour juice for children "only from single-serve containers served at the table" beginning this week. In addition, "nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages must be stored in completely separate and identified containers."

"We want to express how thankful we are that the child involved in the incident at our restaurant in Madison Heights, Mich., on April 8, was not seriously injured as a result of accidentally receiving the wrong beverage," Racer's statement reads. "We also want to apologize to his parents, for the stress and worry this caused them."

This is not the first time a trip to Applebee's has resulted in a tipsy tot, according to the Detroit News. Chad Wuthrick of Salem, Ohio, tells the paper his wife and 1-year-old daughter had a similar experience after ordering apple juice at an Applebee's in Hermitage, Pa., on Dec. 3.

"After she took a drink she started gagging and spit it out," he says.

In June 2007, a 2-year-old Antioch, Calif., boy also received a margarita drink instead of apple juice at an Applebee's. A year earlier, a 5-year-old New York City boy was given a Long Island iced tea.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.