Signs of Intoxication: A Guide for Responsible Service

In the world of hospitality, understanding and identifying signs of intoxication is crucial for responsible alcohol service.

But how can you tell if someone is unduly intoxicated?

Ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for all patrons lies at the heart of responsible hospitality.

This guide will help you recognise the key signs of intoxication and understand the importance of a responsible approach to serving alcohol.

Understanding Intoxication

Intoxication isn’t just about how much a person drinks; it’s a combination of factors. People be affected by alcohol or other substances, so it’s essential to assess their condition carefully.

Understanding and identifying signs of intoxication is crucial for staff, empowering them to make informed decisions regarding alcohol service and maintain compliance with legal requirements.

Key Indicators of Intoxication

Verbal Cues:

  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Difficulty forming coherent sentences
  • Repeating oneself or losing the train of thought
  • Excessive loudness, boisterousness, or offensive language

Behavioural Indicators:

  • Aggression, confusion, or argumentativeness
  • Inappropriate sexual advances, drowsiness, or unsteady movements
  • Difficulty walking, swaying, or stumbling

Poor Coordination:

  • Spilling drinks, dropping objects, or fumbling with money
  • Trouble completing basic tasks like opening doors or lighting cigarettes
  • Difficulty counting money or paying for drinks

Be Aware of Disabilities

Certain medical conditions or disabilities can mimic signs of intoxication. Observe diligently, avoid discriminatory assumptions, and seek clarification if needed.

Discrimination laws require equal access to social activities for people with disabilities. Be sensitive and seek a second opinion if unsure about refusing service.

To determine if someone is intoxicated, consider:

  • The amount and type of alcohol consumed.
  • The individual’s behaviour.
  • Discussions with the person or their friends.
  • Consulting with workmates or supervisors.

Questions and Observations

Ask yourself:

  • How much alcohol has the person consumed?
  • When did they last eat?
  • Are there other reasons for their behaviour?

Observe for:

  • Signs of intoxication.
  • Smell of alcohol.
  • The type and amount of liquor consumed.

Tips for Preventing Intoxication

  • Familiarise yourself with your venue’s responsible service of alcohol policy or House Policy.
  • Promote low-alcohol drinks, offer free water and snack food.
  • Avoid automatically refilling drinks and slow down service for those showing early signs of intoxication.
  • Alert other staff members and talk to patrons to gauge their level of intoxication.

Case Study: Handling Intoxication

A patron, John, arrives exhibiting slurred speech and difficulty maintaining balance.

As a responsible staff member, you should:

  1. Engage Calmly: Initiate a courteous conversation to assess his condition and cognitive state.
  2. Provide Clear Explanation: If intoxication is evident, politely explain the limitations on further alcohol service due to legal and safety concerns.
  3. Offer Alternatives: Present non-alcoholic beverage options like water or soft drinks.
  4. Prioritise Safety: If necessary, assist John in arranging safe transportation home, ensuring his well-being.

Identifying signs of intoxication is more than a legal requirement; it’s about ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your patrons.

By being vigilant and understanding the signs, you can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable environment for everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *