Video: Tips for Servers of Alcoholic Beverages

How do you prevent patron intoxication and alcohol-impaired driving when you are serving alcoholic beverages? Assess how much a person has been drinking by recognizing the signs of intoxication and using the following methods for intervening with intoxicated guests.

While alcohol affects everyone differently, the signs of intoxication generally include:

To monitor how much a guest is drinking, the SMART program suggests using the traffic light system rather than counting how many drinks a guest has had. Here’s how it works:

You have both the right and the duty to refuse service to an intoxicated patron. This puts you at risk, so keep the following in mind:

If removal of a drunk patron becomes necessary, it should be done as quickly and with the least amount of force as possible. Using unreasonable force may result in injury and subsequent legal action. If there is the chance of a violent reaction from a patron, be prepared to call the police for assistance. In the event of an incident, fill out a Liquor Liability Incident Form, available on EMPLOYERS’ Loss Control Connection, which documents the measures taken to control an intoxicated person, and helps to defend liability in the event of an alcohol-related accident.

Intervening with an intoxicated patron may seem difficult, but your actions are critical. When you take the appropriate steps to prevent intoxicated patrons and alcohol-impaired driving, everyone benefits.