Restaurant Worker's Drunk Driving Tragedy Makes Drinking at Work Look Too Dangerous

Heartbreaking 11

scotchWhen Adam Burnell, an assistant manager and sommelier at the acclaimed South Carolina restaurant Husk, had a few drinks with the staff after a long night at work he was just following tradition. Having a drink with your co-workers after hours is something restaurant workers all over the world do.

But then Burnell got behind the wheel of his car and allegedly crashed it into Quentin Miller's car. Quentin's car then smashed into a concrete wall and burst into flames. He died. Now the restaurant is facing a lawsuit. Is it time for restaurant workers to re-think that after-hours drink?

It doesn't look like Burnell had just a little sip of wine before he left that night. His blood alcohol level was measured at 0.24 percent, three times the legal limit. He's been charged with drunk driving.

Husk is no sleazy dive where you'd expect out-of-control staff members. Bon Appetit just named it the "Best New Restaurant in America" and Newsweek listed it among the "100 Best Places to Eat in the World." I guess tragedy can strike even the best establishments.

So maybe restaurants like Husk shouldn't allow their staff to drink after hours, right? Yeah, that's already a rule. The company that owns the restaurant, Neighborhood Dining Group Inc., forbids staff to drink on the premises at all. But if your assistant manager is breaking that rule, maybe people aren't taking it seriously enough.

I love the idea of the restaurant staff enjoying a few drinks after a night of work, I really do. Those workers certainly earn it. But the consequences in this case make it sound too dangerous! Tradition over a young man's life -- I think the young man's life is more important.

Have you ever had drinks with your coworkers after working your shift at a restaurant?


Image via wsimmons/Flickr




drinks, in the news, restaurants


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Wheep... Wheepingchree

.24 BAC is not "a few" drinks. that is 12 beers/shots of liquor. 6 double cocktails. I drink frequently and often in excess, so I have no issue with that. but don't fuckin' drive after that much. not worth it.

Melusine Noel

I do not feel it is the restaurants fault. This guy did it, sue him and his estate. But since they are not doing that, it looks like they want money. People always sue the party with the most money.

Eddie... EddiesMama83

I guess nobody thinks anything of drinking and driving. The poor man's death is the result of a decline in morals.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

The restaurant clearly hired an irresponsible moron but that's no reason to sue them. Only a complete idiot would drink alcohol and drive, especially that much. Frankly I doubt the intelligence of anyone who would drink that much even with no intention of driving. What is the point in poisoning yourself that way?

kisse... kisses5050

this sounds like it was it was written for a jy high news paper....

nonmember avatar johanna

How about not hiring alcoholics? Surely someone with this high a blood alcohol level would have given some indication of binge drinking before. So, patrons of the restaurant can drink but those who get off after closing time can't even have a drink because of a few bad apples?

gridi... gridironsmom

If the gentleman drank that much at a different establishment from where he worked, who wuold they be suing?

jessi... jessicasmom1

just a after hour drink 1 would  not impair  his ability to drive a motor vehicle .. now many that is a different story poor judgement!

nonmember avatar kaerae

So we needed this to teach us not to drink at work? Maybe we should all bang our heads against a wall to figure out that's a bad idea, too.

mamivon2 mamivon2

nope never

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