Applebee's Changes Policy after Toddler Served Alcohol

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Applebee's will now serve juice to children tableside after a toddler was accidentally given alcohol at a Michigan location.

The popular restaurant chain came under investigation after 15-month-old D.J. was mistakenly served alcohol instead of apple juice due to a mislabeled container.

Starting this week, Applebee's servers will now pour juice for children at their table out of single serving containers.

D.J.'s mother Taylor Dill-Reese was dining with her family at a Detroit-area Applebee's when she notice the boy was exhibiting odd behavior.

"He was saying 'Hi' and 'Bye' to the walls and he eventually laid his head down on the table and we thought maybe he was just sleepy," she recalled.

He was sleepy -- but not because of a long day on the playground. D.J. was drunk.

After being taken to the hospital, it was discovered that D.J. had a blood alcohol level well over that which is considered legal for an adult to drive. The baby had been mistakenly served apple juice mixed with alcohol.
Police are calling the incident an accident and blame a mislabeled bottle behind the bar.
Still, this is not a new situation for the restaurant chain. Similar incidents have happened twice before over the last few years.
In 2006, a New York Applebee's mistakenly served a long island ice tea to a 5-year old. And in 2007, an Applebee's in California poured a margarita into a toddler's plastic Sippy cup.
Applebee's says they are looking into the Detroit case.

"Obviously, any situation like this is unacceptable," Applebee's said in a written statement. "We are working with local authorities and conducting our own investigation to assess exactly what happened."

D.J. is fine now, but his 18-year-old mom says she still can't wrap her head around how something like this could happen in the first place.

"Nobody at the table ordered alcoholic drinks; we can't, so he definitely shouldn't have received one," Dill-Reese said.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at