RSA and intoxication in NSW

Responsible Service of AlcoholUnder the NSW liquor laws, licensees and RSA staff must ensure that patrons do not become intoxicated. An intoxicated person must be asked to leave the premises immediately or refused entry onto the licensed premises.

Noticeable signs of intoxication

Noticeable signs of intoxication can be observed in terms of a person’s speech, balance, coordination and behaviour.

Speech – Slurring words, talking in rambling or unintelligible sentences, incoherent or muddled in their speech

Balance – unsteady on feet, stumbling or bumping into people or objects, swaying uncontrollably or difficulty standing or walking straight

Coordination – Fumbling to light a cigarette, have difficulty in counting money or paying, spilling or dropping drink, having difficulty in finding one’s mouth with a glass, or having difficulty in opening or closing doors

Behaviour – Becoming rude, aggressive, or offensive, unable to concentrate or follow instructions, becoming boisterous or pester others, being overfriendly and making inappropriate sexual advances, or being drowsy or sleeping at the bar or table

A person is considered to be intoxicated if:

  • That person’s speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably affected, and

  • It is reasonable to believe that the affected speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is the result of the consumption of liquor

A degree of judgement is still required by licensees, serving staff and security officers in determining whether a person is intoxicated, or approaching the point of becoming intoxicated. In exercising that judgment, other factors should also be considered, such as the amount and type of liquor served to a patron, and the time over which the consumption of drinks took place. Care must be taken to establish if there are other causes, such as a medical condition, which would give the appearance of approaching intoxication. This requires thoughtful observation of patrons by all RSA staff.