How to Manage Intoxicated Patrons

Responsible Service of AlcoholManaging an intoxicated patron within a licensed venue can be difficult. This is as alcohol affects each patron differently, and you don’t know how they will react to specific situations. So how do you manage intoxicated patrons?

There are specific steps and strategies that you should use when you are managing an intoxicated person. First and foremost, you should assess the situation and consider your and other patrons safety, considering whether or not you need assistance or you can manage with the situation safely yourself. Please see the below steps:

  1. Introduce yourself and your role within the licensed venue

  2. Ask what their name is

  3. Explain to them where they are and what is happening as they are most likely disorientated

  4. When you are communicating with the intoxicated patron, use the below strategies:

Use the patrons name when speaking with them

  • Speak clearly and repeat yourself when necessary

  • Adjust your pace and language to their pace

  • Keep eye contact

  • Avoid asking numerous questions at one time

  • Avoid long conversations

  • Clearly explain to them instructions

  • Be friendly and polite, always smile

  • Help the person if needed

5.   Always remember to:

  • Remain calm at all times

  • Listen intently to the person when they speak

  • Do not shout or argue with the patron

When approaching or managing an intoxicated patron, remember the above steps and strategies, as it will make the situation easy to deal with and ensure that the patron does not get aggravated. However, always remember that your safety and the safety of other patrons come first. So if you do require assistance or if the situation gets out of hand, contact another staff member to assist you. Also, if you are less experienced, ask for help and watch how others deal with intoxicated patrons.