10 Ways to Identify Intoxicated Guests in Your Bar

By Ray Foley, Heather Dismore

Part of Running a Bar For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Sure, people often go to bars to drink, but not all drunks are happy drunks, and they certainly aren’t safe, so it’s usually best to cut off their alcohol supply or send people home before they get too intoxicated. Here’s a list of warning signs so you’ll know when to take action:

  • Patron is drinking fast.

  • Patron is smoking two cigarettes at once — one is burning and he’s lighting another.

  • Patron is spilling drinks.

  • Patron is engaging in loud, boisterous behavior.

  • Patron is very quiet. Yes, you have to watch the real quiet ones, too.

  • Patron is unable to pick up money or change.

  • Patron is annoying your other guests.

  • Patron has slurred speech.

  • Patron is becoming tearful or emotional.

  • Patron starts sleeping or gets drowsy.

And if the patron falls off the bar stool — it’s beyond over! Don’t let a patron get intoxicated to this point. It’s time for the designated driver to take the patron home, or it’s time to call a cab.