Official TIPS Alcohol Certification Blog
May 11, 2021

Promoting Responsibility This Holiday Season

It is the time of year we all count on to promote our businesses,
particularly our spirits, wine, and beer sales. As people start to feel
more festive, they want to consume and we want to be the frst to offer
the drinks. As we prepare for the holiday rush this year, let’s not
forget that we want to keep our guests safe and prevent overservice. When you serve alcohol, you know the risks. Risk lawsuits if you over serve. Risk lives if you serve a drunk driver. Risk your livelihood if you sell to a minor.
Here are a few tips that may protect both your patrons and your establishment this holiday season:

  1. Request identifcation from anyone who appears 35 years of age or younger. Guests who cannot present a valid form of ID should not be given any alcohol. Remember “FEAR”:
    • Feel – Check for tears, frays or other damage.
    • Examine – Compare the ID with those listed in an ID Checking Guide.
    • Ask – Communicate with the guest by asking questions to verify that the ID belongs to the guest (year of birth? year of high school graduation?) and look for signs of hesitation
    • Return – Return the ID to the guest.
  2. Control access to the alcohol you provide:
    • Use standard-size glasses and measure the alcohol in mixed drinks.
    • Count drinks.
    • When serving a guest previously served by a co-worker, check with your colleague to fnd out how many drinks the guest has already been served.
  3. Offer soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled water and coffee so that your guests have an alternative to alcohol.
  4. Allow guests to have only one drink at a time. Discourage competitive or rapid drinking.
  5. Offer appetizers, snacks and other food to slow down the absorption of alcohol, especially if you notice a guest showing signs of intoxication.
  6. Look for Behavioral Cues to determine if a guest is approaching intoxication or is already intoxicated:
    • Lowered Inhibitions – Talkativeness or loud behavior
    • Impaired Judgment – Inappropriate behavior or increased rate of drinking
    • Slowed Reactions – Slurred speech, glassy or unfocused eyes
    • Loss of Coordination – Stumbling or swaying.
  7. Make sure that anyone who is visibly intoxicated receives no more alcohol and is not left alone. This is important even if the guest is not driving; an impaired guest can be injured or may injure others in ways other than through an automobile collision.
  8. When necessary, provide alternate transportation for impaired guests. Either call a cab or enlist the help of sober friends to take the impaired guest home.

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