A career in bartending can be both rewarding and fun. But it is also hard work. You will have the opportunity to interact with countless interesting people. Unfortunately, you will also have to deal with the occasional intoxicated individual.

As a bartender, you have the right and obligation to never over-serve. You should be capable of identifying the signs of intoxication and know how to properly handle an intoxicated individual.

Signs of Intoxication

  1. Loud, obnoxious behavior
  2. Slurred speech
  3. Impaired vision
  4. Bloodshot eyes
  5. Impaired coordination
  6. Aggressive actions
  7. Disheveled appearance
  8. Drastic mood changes

Having to cut-off an individual who is displaying the above traits can be a complicated and intimidating situation for even the most experienced bartender. For starters, you never know how an intoxicated individual will respond to being cut-off. Because of this, diplomacy and tact are of the utmost importance.

  1. Pull the intoxicated individual aside, away from other customers. You do not want to embarrass them.
  2. In a cool, calm tone, smile and explain, “In my best judgment, I think you have already had enough to drink and I’m not going to be able to serve you any more alcohol.”
  3. At this time, find out what type of non-alcoholic drinks they would like.

If this approach is met with a negative reaction, notify the manager on duty. You should also let the other bartenders and employees know that the intoxicated individual has been cut-off.

Alcohol Facts

  • Alcohol induces intoxication by depressing the functions of the central nervous system.
  • Females become intoxicated quicker than males. Out-of-shape people become intoxicated quicker than physically fit people. Stressed individuals become intoxicated quicker than relaxed individuals. A person who drinks a carbonated beverage or fruit juice becomes intoxicated quicker than a person who does not. And finally, a person on an empty stomach becomes intoxicated quicker than a person who has recently eaten.
  • A mixed drink (1 ¼ oz. alcohol), a beer (12 oz.), and a glass of wine (6 oz.) all contain about the same amount of alcohol.
  • After consuming an alcoholic beverage, most of the alcohol is absorbed through the small intestine, where it then enters the bloodstream.
  • Alcohol remains in the body until it is oxidized by the liver.
  • The liver is capable of oxidizing one 1 oz. drink of 80 proof liquor every hour.

If you have any questions about Bartending Tips & Tricks or wish to register for an upcoming class, please contact the Maryland Bartending Academy by calling 410-787-0020 or visit MarylandBartending.com today!

Maryland Bartending Academy is not only Maryland’s oldest bartending school, but we also offer the most comprehensive curriculum around. We will have you ready for your new career in two weeks and then we will help you find bartender jobs around Maryland and DC! We have trained and placed thousands and thousands of bartenders into some of the busiest bars throughout not only Maryland and DC, but also the entire nation.

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