TABC Server Alcohol Training

5 signs of Intoxication

Do you know when someone's drunk?

As a server and seller of alcohol, you’ll need to have the skill of knowing when someone’s drunk. This is because you can get into a lot of trouble if you sell to a person who is already intoxicated. Not everyone will show the same signs of intoxication, but it’s always good to know the most common signs to save yourself from a lot of trouble.

1. Movement

This is probably one of the biggest telltale signs of intoxication. When someone is drunk, they’re usually swaying their bodies and staggering their feet. Loss of coordination and difficulty walking straight are the most common movement signs. But there are other behaviors, such as fumbling for their belongings and being touchy with other people.

2. Speech

The way people tend to speak when they’re drunk is a lot different from what they would normally sound like. An intoxicated person will slur their words and become progressively louder and incoherent as time goes on. Sometimes they’ll use offensive language more often and could become argumentative as well.

3. Vision

You can’t see what an intoxicated person sees. But you can still tell that they’ve had too much to drink just by looking at their eyes. Their eyes are typically glossy and red. You’ll also notice that their eyes will start to roll back, droop or close intermittently as time passes. You can also test their vision by using the “follow my finger” sobriety test.

4. Judgment

This one is a little more difficult to gauge because you probably don’t know the person who you’re serving on a personal level. Therefore, you might not know how they usually act versus how they’d act when they’re drunk. But when something is out of the ordinary, then you’ll know. Take your friend texting their ex, for example. Clear sign of impaired judgment!

5. Appearance

The overall appearance of an overly intoxicated person is pretty much universal. This is a combination of the first three signs: movement, speech and vision. If the person is swaying back and forth, stumbling, or struggling to keep themselves upright, then this is just one of the appearances that they are too drunk to serve any more alcohol to. Glossy red eyes, as mentioned before, are also big signs of excessive alcohol consumption in addition to droopiness.

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