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Do’s and Don’ts of Refusing Service to Intoxicated Guests

April 13, 2021
bottles chilling on bar

Now that bars and restaurants are completely opened in Texas, many guests are making up for lost time and getting together with friends for a drink. Unfortunately, some people may end up going a little overboard with their imbibements.

In these situations, it’s your responsibility as a TABC certified server to protect your patrons, establishment, and yourself, by refusing to serve an intoxicated guest.

Here are some easy do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when your intoxicated customer asks you for “one more.”


Do Remember Your Manners

As loud or as unruly as your customer gets, remember, they are still your customer. Stay calm throughout your conversation regarding the refusal of services. Politely inform of local laws and the risks involved with you serving them any more alcohol.

If they continue to demand a drink, don’t lose your cool, reinforce your points, and start looking around for their friends or security for further assistance.


Do Practice Early Intervention

As a server or bartender, you should always be aware of how much alcohol your patrons have consumed. Watch your patron’s behavior throughout the night. If you notice anyone beginning to get out of hand, politely inform them that if they continue to act out you will have to refuse them service. And of course, if you observe any signs of intoxication or someone starting to blackout, then cut them off immediately and get them medical attention if necessary.

Catching this behavior early helps avoid any potential conflicts that could arise when cutting someone off who is completely inebriated.


Do Make Sure They Leave Safely

Once you’ve refused service to an individual, your job isn’t done. As long as the person is on your property, their actions are your problem.

So, ensure that they leave your premises safely and without further disturbance:


Don’t Let the Incident Slide

After the incident has occurred, enter the details into a logbook. This helps cover your business if any further trouble arises.

Your report of the incident should include:


Don’t Give in to “One More Drink”

Remember, Texas Dram Shop laws hold your establishment liable for the actions of a drunken patron who causes trouble on your property or leaves inebriated after drinking at your bar or restaurant.

If you decide to give in to the plea for one more drink, this could be the drink that puts a patron over the edge and causes them to recklessly get behind the wheel of a car and cause an unfortunate accident.

Under Dram Shop laws, you and your business could face legal action from third-parties who the intoxicated patron’s actions impacted.


Ensure Effective Service at Your Establishment with TABC On The Fly

If you are the manager of a local bar or restaurant and have employees who serve alcohol, having a TABC certification on your team’s side is the best thing for your business right now.

Fortunately, it’s simple to get your entire staff certified through TABC On The Fly. Our online certification course allows you and your team to take our class at your leisure and not worry about missing that next busy shift.

We make it easy and affordable for you to give your employees the training they need. Register online today!

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