The Intoxicated Guest

Serving intoxicated guests invokes a number of liabilities against the server and against the establishment. Determining when a guest is intoxicated is a very subjective process. One person may exhibit behaviors associated with being outgoing, comical, and assertive when another person exhibiting the same behaviors may be intoxicated. All staff needs to be familiar with the obvious signs of intoxication and know the appropriate steps to take to protect the guest's safety and prevent liability against the establishment.

There are three specific situations involving service to intoxicated guests:
1. The intoxicated guest is entering the establishment.
2. The guest is becoming intoxicated.
3. The guest who regularly becomes intoxicated or the problem drinking guest.

Handling each situation requires special skills and a commitment to the establishment's policies. The key to successful intervention is prevention. Keeping the focus on the guest's safety and the establishment's policies diverts personal confrontations.


The primary goal of the RBS Nightclub's responsible beverage service program is to protect the health and safety of all guests. When a guest enters the premises and appears to be intoxicated, the person will not be served alcoholic beverages. Arrangements should be made to ensure the safety of the guest, and management and security should be contacted. This policy will be reviewed at staff meetings and problem situations discussed.


a. Servers should notify the manager of hostess when a guest enters the facilities in an intoxicated condition. The manager will take appropriate action to protect the guest and prevent a disturbance from occurring.

b. If the intoxicated guest is permitted to remain on the premises, he or she should be offered food, alternative beverages, and arrangements made for a safe ride home in accordance with the guidelines under RBS Nightclub Alternative Transportation.