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Alcohol Intoxication Identification

A bartender or server has many responsibilities, including ensuring that customers are not served alcohol if they are already intoxicated. Another is to recognize when to stop serving alcohol to a customer who has become intoxicated on the premises. There are a few ways to identify when a customer has had too much to drink, and it is important to identify these signs to prevent over-intoxication and possible alcohol poisoning.

Tips for Identifying Alcohol Intoxication

There are several ways to identify when a customer has had too much to drink. If you know the customer well or have been observing them for a while, you will be able to tell when their behavior changes and they become more intoxicated. Look for changes in speech, coordination, or balance. Other signs of intoxication include speaking louder, bothering other customers, or putting a full drink down, losing it, and promptly ordering another.

If a customer’s eyes are red or glassy, or if their face is flush, these can be signs that they have had too much to drink. You may also hear in the customer’s voice that they are slurring their words or speaking more loudly than usual.

Sometimes, directly asking a customer if they’ve had too much to drink is the best way to gauge intoxication. If they struggle to answer coherently or seem confused, consider these as signs of intoxication. Surprisingly, many customers admit intoxication. However, this admission doesn’t guarantee they’ll accept your decision to stop serving them.

Expert witness providing testimony in a Dram Shop case.

If You Suspect Alcohol Intoxication

Spot a potentially intoxicated customer? Stop serving alcohol immediately. Continuing to serve them if they’re inebriated exposes you to liability for any injuries or harm they cause. Be firm but polite – explain you can no longer serve them alcohol due to their intoxication. Remember, some customers might react poorly to being cut off, so ensure your staff is trained to de-escalate tense situations and handle refusals professionally.

If all else fails, you may need to ask the customer to leave the premises. This is usually a last resort, as it can often lead to an argument or even violence. If you need to ask the customer to leave, notify management immediately. Management intervention is a powerful tool.

Intoxicated customers are major problems, but there are steps that you can take to identify and deal with them. Following the tips above, you can help keep your establishment safe and enjoyable for all your responsible customers.

Contact The Dram Shop Experts For Superior Service

Contact our team today and retain The Dram Shop Experts. We will provide powerful insight into responsible alcohol serviceindustry-standard bar operations, and intoxication identification. We will fight, by your side, to prosecute or defend your dram shop claim. Call Preston Rideout (662) 466-6045 for information about our Dram Shop Expert Witness Testimony services.