Signs of intoxication – part II

Responsible Service of AlcoholIf someone is to ask you what the signs of intoxication are, would you be able to state them all off the top of your head without hesitation? This is as if you work within a licensed venue, you should be able to identify some of the key signs of intoxication. This is as it is against the law to serve patrons who are intoxicated. Therefore, it is your job and legal obligation to know the signs, to ensure that you are not serving intoxicated patrons.

As you may already know, there are no exact signs that everyone exhibits, this is as alcohol, similar to any drug, affects each person differently. Therefore, by knowing the common signs, you will be able to clearly identify if a patron is intoxicated. Here are some common signs that may assist you in identifying intoxicated patrons, please note that these are not all the possible signs but only the common.

Patrons appearance:

  • Bloodshot and/or glassy eyes

  • Face appears to be flushed

  • Blank appearance

  • Drooping eyelids

  • Body tremors


  • Impaired speech

  • Difficulty in maintaining focus within conversation

  • Slurred speech

  • Speaking loudly

  • Rambling

  • Speaking slow or fast

  • Slow or no response to questions


  • Agitated

  • Annoyed

  • Aggressive

  • Boisterous

  • Overly friendly

  • Obnoxious

  • Argumentative


  • Swaying

  • Staggering and unable to walk straight

  • Careless with money

  • Unable to pick up money

  • Restless

  • Depressed

  • Crying and/or moody

If you believe that a patron is exhibiting some of the above signs, you should proceed and take the necessary precautions, and find out if they are intoxicated, or if they are exhibiting the same signs due to a disability. Also, if an intoxicated person has been refused service, ensure that all staff is aware and also inform your manager.

If you require any further information in regard to Responsible Service of Alcohol, we recommend you complete our online RSA