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Has Your Customer Had Too Much? Top 3 Things To Look For

March 11, 2021

Noticing signs of intoxication isn’t rocket science, it just requires you to be proactive. It requires you to constantly be on the lookout, to engage with your customers, and to make judgement calls based on what you see and hear. While there are many signs of intoxication, here are 3 things to watch for when deciding if you need to cut someone off:


Motor Function Problems

If your customer is slurring speech or missing their mouth with their glass or utensils, you’re safe to conclude they’ve reached their limit. Another sure sign is difficulty maintaining balance, so think again about serving another drink if you notice swaying or staggering. Rambling speech or talking unusually fast or slow is another warning sign.


Physical Signs

Flushed in the face. Bloodshot, glassy, or watery in the eyes. Droopy eyelids or falling asleep. These are each manifestations someone is visibly affected by their alcohol consumption and shouldn’t be served more alcohol.


Behavioral Problems

This can be a little trickier, since you can only observe your customers for the time they are in your establishment. But, you’ve been talking with them throughout their visit and you’ll have at least some understanding of their baseline behavior. If they suddenly begin talking loudly and being overly boisterous, that’s cause for concern. Being overly friendly to other customers, overly animated, or using overtly obnoxious all of the sudden should tip you off that they’re done. So should becoming careless with money and displaying a lot of bravado. On the flip side, customers who suddenly become argumentative and mean are equally concerning for over-consumption.

You don’t have to have extrasensory perception, you just have to recognize signs that any certified seller-server would be likely to recognize. Don’t forget to look for signs before ever even serving alcohol, since you never know what the customer consumed before arriving. And always remember, it’s you, the seller-server, who will bear the criminal and civil consequences of over-serving. When in doubt, it’s always better to kindly cut them off!


BASSET On The Fly certified servers and sellers are well-equipped to recognize signs of intoxication and to take all the measures needed to safely sell or serve alcohol in the state of Illinois. Whether you work at an On-Premise or Off-Premise establishment, enroll today to get your official 3-year BASSET card fast!

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