How to Spot Intoxication in Bar Patrons | Seller Server Information

How to Spot Intoxication in Bar Patrons

Bartender With TABC Permit Helping Drunk Patron

When you’re a busy bar worker doing your best to provide high-quality service, you might not always pick up on the signs of intoxication. This can be especially true if you haven’t undertaken the TABC permit course that provides helpful information on how to identify intoxication in bar patrons.

Spotting intoxication can be crucial for not only protecting your business from possible TABC violations but protecting the intoxicated person and those around them. If you’re a bar worker wanting to look after your establishment and patrons, here are some of the most crucial signs to look out for.


Speech Changes

While speech changes alone aren’t always enough to identify intoxication, they can generally be a very telling sign. If you’re serving someone who is slurring their words, has incoherent or muddled speech, is rambling, is trying to hold unintelligible conversations, or easily loses their train of thought, they might no longer be sober enough to be served alcohol.

In this situation, you can use your experience and the knowledge you gained from the TABC certification to cut off service and offer non-alcoholic alternatives.


Balance Problems

While balance problems can be associated with many medical conditions, they can also be linked to intoxication. Drunk people can be unsteady on their feet, have difficulty walking straight, stagger, stumble, and bump into people or furniture. They can also find it challenging to stand up straight or even remain on their feet.

When you notice someone displaying these signs, you can refuse service and offer alternative beverages. Otherwise, you can encourage them to leave the bar and get home safely.


Coordination Challenges

As a bar worker, you’re likely used to watching how people perform specific tasks competently. Most people have no problems counting out and paying their money, opening and closing doors, and finding their mouths with their glasses.

However, intoxicated people can generally struggle with coordination. They might not find it easy to hand over the right amount of money to pay for their drink, and something as simple as putting their glass to their lips becomes a challenging task. These can be obvious signs of intoxication to be aware of.


Changes in Behavior

Most bar patrons are pleasant, polite people who are more than happy to pay for their drinks, socialize with other bar patrons, and behave themselves. However, when they become intoxicated, that can change.

Some people can become disorderly, loud, and aggressive, while others are annoying, drowsy, or offensive. If you notice a behavior change in patrons, take it as a sign of intoxication and refuse service.


How to Intervene and Cut Off Bar Service

You become adept at handling intoxicated patrons with time, experience, and education through the TABC permit course. However, sometimes, managing patrons who have the potential to become intoxicated can be as straightforward as doing some of the following things.


Slowing down service

As much as you might pride yourself on prompt service, you can have your patrons’ best interests at heart by slowing down service. Avoid visiting their table as often as you usually would to ensure they’re giving themselves time to enjoy their beverages rather than heading straight for intoxication.


Offering food

It’s a well-known fact that food slows the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Curb the effects of intoxication by encouraging your bar patrons to purchase meals or bar snacks. If you’re involved in the food service side of your business, you might even like to buy the TABC/Food Handlers bundle to save money and improve your skills.


Offering non-alcoholic beverages

If you’re concerned about needing to cut off service, offer your patrons non-alcoholic beverages. Sometimes, lemonade or cola can be as thirst-quenching as beer and wine.


Learn How to Spot and Handle Intoxicated Patrons With TABC Pronto

You can learn a lot with time and on-the-job training, but the knowledge you gain through TABC certification can be invaluable. Enroll in the TABC certification today and learn how to spot intoxicated people and why you shouldn’t serve them. The more knowledge you have, the safer your business and patrons can be.