Note: Please make sure you review all sub-section to the right before proceeding to the next section.

Getting Started

To complete the It’s Good Business (Newfoundland and Labrador) Server Program, you will need to complete the following steps:

Step One

Review the course content by clicking through the modules associated with this course, the links to these modules are on the right hand side of this page.

You will:

  • Learn about the Duty of Care and your role in ensuring that customers do not harm themselves or others by unreasonable or inappropriate alcohol sales practices or procedures.
  • Understand the effects of alcohol and recognize the signs of over-consumption.
  • Know your legal responsibilities in the service of alcohol
  • Understand new approaches to alcohol sales and service in relation to the changing consumption trends and regulations.

Step Two

When you are confident that you are ready to take the test, please proceed to the registration page to register. When you have registered and completed your profile you will be asked to submit a test code that may have been provided to your buy your employer or you will have to purchase one in order to access the on-line test. If you have any questions about this process please contact HNL at 1-800-563-0700 or 709-722-2000.

Step Three

Once you are you have a active test code you can input that in the required page and you will be given access to the test.

Step Four

When you have completed your test and the site administrator has verified your payment, you will receive an email with your test score. Upon successful completion of the test, you will be emailed a certificate to recognize your completion of this program.

About the Program

The It’s Good Business (Newfoundland and Labrador) program is about changing views of alcohol service in the tourism/hospitality industry. The consumption of alcohol has changed. Public attitudes have changed. Laws and regulations have changed. Employees and employers who serve alcohol need to understand their role in response to this new business environment.

  • The public is focusing on reducing alcohol-related problems, particularly drinking and driving.
  • Young people are more aware of alcohol-related problems and taking action to be more responsible (Safe Grads, Designated Driver Programs, etc.). A more health and weight-conscious public is changing eating and drinking preferences. Establishments and servers are increasingly being held responsible for injuries related to intoxication.
  • Profits are dropping due to a trend of reduced alcohol consumption. Laws and regulations have been amended in response to the changing environment.
  • Costs are rising: taxes, overhead, insurance.

Hotels, restaurants, clubs and bars are looking at new plans for keeping or improving profits within the changing times of alcohol regulation and alcohol consumption. Many establishments are moving towards more responsible alcohol service. The goal is to run a profitable business while reducing alcohol-related problems. The main concerns are impaired driving and alcohol-related lawsuits against both servers and licensed premises.

In putting this program together, we talked to many managers, bartenders, and servers who serve alcohol in very different environments (restaurants, lounges, nightclubs, country clubs, conventions, special functions, sporting events and bars). Many of them found themselves in a difficult position. They know the benefits and enjoyment that good food and drink can bring to the people they serve. However, they also live in a world full of messages about impaired driving and other problems related to alcohol. They know that people sometimes leave their place of business after having too much to drink.

This program is designed for people in the industry to find ways to keep both the customer and the public safe while continuing profitable, enjoyable and hospitable service.

Here are some suggestions to consider as you work through this program:

  • Be creative and open-minded. Ask, ‘How could I use this where I work?’ or review past situations where coworkers have successfully used different techniques.
  • Pull out the ideas that will work best for you and the place you work.
  • Get to know which methods may be useful in your current and other work situations.
  • Use the information to initiate conversations or discussions with coworkers or managers.
  • Ask yourself “Do I know what the policy or procedure is specifically to my workplace?”
  • As you enter employment or continue employment, discuss this with your manager or supervisor.

Remember that your goal is to take away thoughts on what will work for you, your establishment and the people you serve. Obviously, you will also need the support of your manager or supervisor. In most cases, they will have taken this course already, and they will either have policies in place or will be developing them. Talk to your supervisor so you know your establishment’s policies and priorities.

Note: The terms patron, customer and guest are used throughout this manual and all refer to a person who visits your place of employment.

This program is not intended to be an exhaustive review of The Liquor Control Act or the regulation requirements for different types of licensees.

Responsibilities and Risks

Note: Please make sure you review all sub-section to the right before proceeding to the next section.

In this section you will review:

  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Duty of Care
  • Case Studies
  • Implications of the Case Studies
  • Reducing Your Liability
  • The Importance of Documentation
  • Sample Incident Forms

An important change facing the industry is an increasing number of successful liability suits against licensed establishments. These cases arise from an individual being served alcohol then injuring or killing someone (or themselves) while under the influence. Courts are deciding that the people serving the alcohol may share some of the blame in these incidents. Some court cases have led to settlements for large sums of money. Even when no blame is found, servers and owners must endure a court hearing and related costs.

Many factors make this a frustrating problem; however, while arguments rage over the fairness of the whole issue smart operators and servers are acting to reduce the risk of a court case. This is the goal. You may not be able to eliminate the risk any more than you can eliminate the risk of a fire in your kitchen. You can, however, take effective steps to manage and reduce the chances of a lawsuit. Fortunately, this action will also reduce the risk of your patrons being involved in mishaps and accidents, and allow them to continue visiting your establishment.

Legal Responsibilities

Providers’ Liability:

Those who serve or provide liquor (bartenders and servers) may be held civilly responsible for negligent liquor service.

Occupiers’ Liability:

Those who are in control of licensed premises may be held civilly responsible for problems arising from improper or illegal service, or dangerous patron behaviour(owners, managers).

Any questions you have regarding your potential civil liability should be referred to a lawyer.

The marketing and selling of alcohol is governed by laws and regulations set by each province or territory. Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the governing body is the Newfoundland & Labrador Liquor Corporation.

Duty of Care

Duty of care is the responsibility you have for your customers’ safety. Ask yourself:

  • Did I know or should I have known that a person was intoxicated or becoming intoxicated?
  • What steps did I take to prevent a person from increasing or maintaining his/her level of intoxication?
  • What steps did I take to protect a person once he/she was or apparently was intoxicated?
Prevention – Your First Duty of Care

To exercise reasonable care to ensure that persons are not served alcohol, such that they become a danger to themselves or others.

Preventing Intoxication Means:

  • Monitoring a customer’s actions and behaviours.
  • Being aware of factors that affect intoxication.
  • Being prepared to refuse service to a customer who is at risk of becoming impaired.
  • Eliminating inducement (attempt to persuade people to purchase and consume more liquor than they normally would).
Protection – Your Second Duty of Care

To take reasonable steps to protect persons who have become intoxicated: to ensure that they do not harm themselves or others.

This may include:

  • Arranging for an impaired customer(s) to be placed in the care of a responsible (and sober) person
  • Arranging rides.

If a customer leaves your establishment and is in an accident or injured, you and your establishment can be held responsible.

Chain of Responsibility

Was the intoxicated person placed in the care of someone else? An intoxicated driver may have been ‘picked up’ by the police or placed in a taxi or put into the care of a designated driver.

Any actions the intoxicated person takes after this type of intervention could be judged to be so remote from your care and control that you will not be held liable. However, the fact that he/she managed to drive a car for two hours or 100 miles before an accident may not remove you from subsequent liability or damages. Nor does the mere fact that “they drank somewhere else after leaving us” remove you from the ‘chain of responsibility’.

Negligence

“He/she was negligent so I can’t be held responsible!” It doesn’t work that way. In fact, because he/she was negligent, you may be held responsible: if you did not demonstrate your duty of care. For example: An intoxicated driver loses control of his car resulting in an accident involving injury.

  1. Was the driver negligent? Yes. Failure to control the car.
  2. Was alcohol served by you a factor? Yes. Contributed to his negligence in failure to control his car.
  3. Were you negligent in the service of alcohol? If you had a duty of care and breached that duty, you could be found negligent.
  4. Could you end up paying damages? Yes.
  5. How much? More than you may realize.
Joint and Several Liability

Courts will determine different amounts of liability. What percentage of blame is given to each party is for the courts to determine, based upon the facts of the case, and the chain of responsibility.

Case Examples

The cases below contain discussion of an alcohol provider’s liability under common law.

1. Jordon House Hotel Ltd. v. Menow and Hosberger (1973)

The Supreme Court of Canada recognized that a tavern owner had a duty to protect intoxicated persons from injuries that they might suffer on or off the premises.
Menow (the defendant) drank to visible intoxication and was ejected from the Jordon House Hotel. As he walked along the highway, he was hit by a car. Menow successfully sued the driver and the hotel. Menow, the driver and the hotel were each held one-third at fault.

Cases following this landmark decision have placed a duty of care on establishments. Establishments must be sure people are not harmed when they leave an establishment in an intoxicated state.

2. Hague et al v. Billings et al (1989)

The issue was whether either of the defendant taverns would be liable to the plaintiff for damages that happened as a result of an accident caused by an intoxicated driver.

Billings (the defendant) killed J. Hague and seriously injured her daughter. Billings had been served at two taverns before the accident. The staff at the Oasis Tavern refused service after one drink when they agreed that he was intoxicated. The staff at the Ship and Shore Hotel served several drinks to the Billings party.

Action against the Oasis Tavern was dismissed. Billings and the Ship and Shore were found equally responsible. The Hague family was awarded damages of $1,890,000.

3. Whitlow v. The Cross Eyed Bear Tavern (1995)

Mr. Whitlow consumed alcohol at a Legion. He left and shortly after entered the tavern where he consumed more alcohol. While there, he went to use the restroom located down a stairwell. Shortly thereafter, he was found unconscious at the bottom of the stairs. No one saw him descend the stairs. No one saw him fall. He died shortly thereafter. The staircase had a protruding bulkhead. There was a sign on the bulkhead “(Watch your Step/Head!!!)”.

The court found that the bulkhead was one of the causes of Mr. Whitlow’s fall. Mr. Whitlow was found to be extremely intoxicated (18-21 drinks) from the drinks served in either the tavern or the Legion. The warning sign had a reduced effect due to his intoxication. The tavern failed to adequately monitor his consumption of alcohol.

The court found:

  • Mr. Whitlow 80% at fault for his own “damages”.
  • The Tavern 15% liable.
  • The Legion 5% liable.

Condition of the premises is unsafe for use of customers when it is foreseeable that customers may be intoxicated. It is interesting to note that the Legion’s liability was based on “foreseeable danger” to an intoxicated person and a duty to take some active steps to protect them.

4. Jacobson v. Kinsmen Club of Nanaimo (1976)

At a “Beer Garden” held in a curling rink by the Kinsmen Club attended by approximately 2000 people, a patron decided to “entertain” the crowd. He climbed to an I-beam supporting the roof and dropped his pants while hanging from the beam. A little while later he and a friend repeated the performance. Nothing untoward happened and the crowd seemed to enjoy the “show”.

Another guest then attempted the same act, unfortunately not as successfully. He fell 30 feet and landed on another guest who was injured. The court made some interesting comments. It stated that, had the first guest fallen, the court would not have held the Kinsmen Club liable. “Who could foresee that someone would attempt this activity, and how could they have effectively intervened.” However, after the first event it was foreseeable, and what did the Club do to prevent a reoccurrence? Nothing.

After the second occurrence, the event was not only foreseeable, it was an ongoing activity. By this time, the Kinsmen should have intervened, warned the patrons that this activity would not be tolerated, and even posted members by the I-beam pillars to prevent anyone climbing. The Kinsmen did none of these things and by failing to take more effective measures to prevent a recurrence, the Club breached its duty and was found to be liable.

Implications of These Cases

  • It is illegal to serve alcohol to anyone who is intoxicated.
  • The licensee has an obligation to ensure that the physical condition of the premises does not pose an undue risk of harm to those who enter.

You are responsible for your customers, regardless of their level of intoxication.

Reducing Liability

The following suggestions help reduce the risk of breaking the law and being found liable.

You need to:

  • Ensure you do not serve alcohol to intoxicated patrons.
  • Ask for ID from anyone who looks under 25 and do not serve minors (under 19 in Newfoundland and Labrador).
  • Watch for and be able to recognize intoxication.
  • Make sure customers do not hurt themselves or others.
  • Take reasonable steps to reduce and contain your risk (duty of care).
  • Act quickly to control disturbances such as fights or groups talking too loudly and annoying other customers.
  • Refuse service and remove customers who are involved in illegal activities (such as drug dealing) or who are creating disturbances.
  • Make sure everyone on staff works together to stop aggressive or illegal behaviour before it causes a problem.
  • Use only reasonable amounts of force to control disturbances.
  • Consider that it may be preferable, in many cases, to have police attend to the removal of persons.

It may be tempting to think that the odds are in your favour, that lawsuits will only be against other people. In these changing times, however, all servers, bartenders, managers and owners are at higher risk.

You can reduce liability by:

  • Having clear policies and procedures that are understood, followed and are consistent with what is permitted by rules, regulations and laws.
  • Documenting your actions and communicating effectively with other staff.
  • Maintaining a safe environment.

The Importance of Documentation

Proper documentation and communication helps everyone understand what is going on and allows them to support each other’s actions. These steps make it easier to prove what actions were taken if a problem does arise. A logbook provides a physical record, in which any staff should be able to verify actions taken. Good documentation can also discourage people from bringing a lawsuit against you and your establishment. Discuss this with your manager or supervisor.

Incident Logbook

You should fill out an incident logbook entry whenever someone is:

  • Refused entry
  • Refused service
  • Cut off
  • Asked to leave the premises
  • Hurt on the premises

These are examples only. There will be other incidents you and your manager may feel should be documented.

It is important to record incidents with customers in a notebook or logbook. Record the events while they are fresh in your mind; as soon as possible after the incident has taken place.

Include details such as: time, place, date, nature of incident, description of parties involved, action taken, witnesses, whether police were called, and any other pertinent information.

Retain all sales slips pertaining to the incident.

Filling out log entries is one way of protecting yourself. Make a note whenever you think and issue could arise regarding your actions, or those of your patrons.

Alcohol Effects

Note: Please make sure you review all sub-section to the right before proceeding to the next section.

In this section you will review:

  • Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC)
  • Factors that Affect a Person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • How to Recognize the Signs of Intoxication

One way to reduce risk of injury and thereby reduce liability is to recognize signs and to respond responsibly to prevent problems before they start. If you can spot trouble signs before a problem occurs and act to avoid it, you have taken the most important step to reducing liability.

Alcohol is a drug that slows down the central nervous system.

Drinks which have the same amount of alcohol will have the same effect on the drinker (standard drinks).

Alcohol acts on the brain to alter a person’s mental and physical condition (slows down reaction time, impairs judgment and reduces inhibitions).

Standard Drinks

A drink is a drink. Any type of drink that contains the same amount of alcohol will have a similar effect on the drinker. When these beverages are served in specific amounts, they contain exactly the same amount of alcohol.

12 ounces Beer (5% alcohol volume) = 1.5 ounces Highball (40% alcohol volume) = 5 ounces Wine (12% alcohol volume)

All contain approximately 0.6 ounce of alcohol and will have an equal effect on the body.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or Blood Alcohol Level

Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC is a measurement of the level of alcohol in the blood stream. BAC is the measure in milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. This is written as milligrams percent, mg%. In Canada, it is a criminal offence to drive with a BAC of over 80 milligrams percent (.08)

People with alcohol in their systems are less alert. Lowered inhibitions and impaired judgment causes intoxicated people to do things they usually would not do. They do not notice warning signs (like their body telling them they have had enough) and they do not react as quickly to things around them.

Many factors control BAC. The two most important factors are:

  1. How much alcohol is consumed and
  2. Over what time period.

Factors that Affect a Person’s BAC

Amount:

The more alcohol consumed in a specific period of time, the higher a person’s BAC will be (shooters, drinking games, etc. will heighten a person’s BAC).

Rate:

Alcohol is absorbed very quickly into the body, but it takes the body approximately one hour per standard drink to break alcohol down. The body starts to break down alcohol the moment it enters a person’s system, but it will not break down alcohol any faster just because there is more of it.

Size and Body Build:

The larger and more muscular people are, the less effect alcohol will have on their BAC. Fat cells do not absorb alcohol very well, so try to judge a person’s size by their lean body mass.

Gender and Age:

Because of size and build, women are often more susceptible to alcohol. Because of biological differences, a woman will also become impaired quicker than a man the same size who drinks the same amount of alcohol.

Food:

The effect of food can be deceiving. Food will not prevent the absorption of alcohol, but it will slow it down. The BAC will rise more slowly if a customer consumes food with alcohol. Customers may drink more than they intended because they do not feel the effects as quickly.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a birth defect caused when a mother consumes alcohol while pregnant. To raise public awareness of this issue, each licensed establishment has been provided with FAS warning signs and labels.

Servers, of course, care about all their customers, but should pay special attention to pregnant guests. The server may wish to offer non-alcoholic beverages as an alternative for the guest.

Visual Signs of Intoxication

Loss of Inhibitions
  • Being overly friendly
  • Loud speech
  • Change in speech
    • Volume: voice may go from low to high with no reason to suggest that a change is necessary?
    • Rate: changes in rate of speaking
Impaired Judgment
  • Complains about the strength of drink
  • Changing consumption rate
  • Ordering doubles
  • Argumentative
  • Careless with money
  • Irrational statements
Impaired Reaction
  • Lighting more than one cigarette at a time
  • Eyes blood shot, lack of eye focus
  • Decreased alertness or loss of train of thought
  • Easily muddled
  • Slurred speech
  • Sweating for no apparent reason
  • Slow, shallow, or weak breathing
Loss of Fine and Gross Motor Coordination
  • Unable to pick up change
  • Fumbling with cigarettes
  • Difficulty removing cards from wallet
  • Spilling drink
  • Stumbling, has trouble moving around objects in path
  • Unable to sit upright, ‘nodding off’ then jerking upright

If you observe signs of intoxication, you should adjust or stop your service.

Common Questions

1. Does it matter whether the stomach is full or empty?
Yes. A full stomach can slow the rate of absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.

2. Is the size and body build of a person a factor?
Yes. Normally a heavier person will not become intoxicated as rapidly as a lighter person even though they might have consumed the same amount of alcohol.

3. Can servers offer shooters to customers from a server tray?
No. A licensee may not allow a server to carry alcoholic beverages in licensed premises before receiving orders for those beverages.

Identifying Potential Alcohol Issues

Note: Please make sure you review all sub-section to the right before proceeding to the next section.

In this section you will review:

  • Assessing Customers’ Level of Intoxication
  • The Traffic Light System
  • Responsible Service Procedures
  • Refusing Service
  • Getting Guests Home Safely
  • Reasonable Force
  • Intoxication

One of the goals of responsible service is to keep people from becoming intoxicated (markedly diminished physical and mental control resulting from consumption of alcohol and/or other drugs). Preventing intoxication among your customers requires understanding how alcohol affects people and having procedures in place to check and pace service.

A change in behaviour is more meaningful than a specific behaviour.

By being attentive to the behaviour changes of individuals you are able to identify potential alcohol issues more confidently.

Assessing Customers’ Level of Intoxication

1. Initial Condition

The first thing you should note is your customer’s initial condition.

  • Has the customer been drinking before arriving?
  • Does the customer exhibit behaviours which may indicate the person is taking medication/drugs?
  • Is the person in a good mood?
  • How has the customer behaved in previous situations (if known)?

This allows servers to set the pace and tone of service, to avoid trouble as well as to make note of customers who are depressed, impaired, aggressive, or out to get drunk.

2. Listening

Listen closely and intently to what the customer says. Show that you are interested by making eye contact.

3. Observing Behaviour and Noting Body Language

In many situations, observing people and reading body language are more important than listening.

Note:

  • Loudness or quietness of conversation and orders.
  • Facial expressions and gestures.
  • Tone of voice.
  • Posture.
4. Asking Questions to Clarify

In some situations, you will have a chance to make small talk with customers. This is an opportunity to pick up information and clarify things heard. Find out:

  • How the customer is feeling.
  • Who is driving?
  • What the intention is for the evening.
  • If he/she had been drinking prior to arriving at your establishment.

The Traffic Light System

It is often impractical to count drinks for every customer. One way to monitor your customers (and service) is by using the traffic light system. This system is based on your assessment of patrons and what they order, and is meant to be an internal guide for monitoring your customers.

Green

Customer is in good mood; not impaired; has had a few or no drinks; is not out to get drunk.

Yellow

Customer may be:

  • drinking quickly, but not yet intoxicated.
  • out to celebrate and drink heavily.
  • showing signs of intoxication.
  • pregnant women who drink would be considered in the yellow zone.

Caution: This person is not intoxicated but you should be alert!

Red

Customer is likely showing several of the early signs of in intoxication and may be:

  • drinking fast.
  • intent on becoming drunk.
  • aggressive or unreasonable.

Stop! The person appears intoxicated and should not be served alcohol. Offer food or other alcohol-free alternatives. Good rating means constantly assessing the guest and rating by keeping track of drinks and changes in behaviour.

Responsible Service Procedures

  • Make sure you know the liquor laws, regulations, and house policies on alcohol service.
  • Be well informed of the non-alcoholic, low-alcohol and specialty drinks available for service. Offer non-alcohol beer, wine or alternatives.
  • Take a few moments to talk with your customers throughout their visit to assess their service needs.
  • Serve one drink at a time. Remove glass before serving the next drink.
  • Wait for customers to reorder. Don’t encourage them to reorder when the drink on the table is still part full.
  • Slow the rate of service for borderline (YELLOW ZONE) patrons.
  • For steady customers who tend to drink too much, discuss and set a limit with them personally, with input from your manager.
  • Promote non-salty food and snacks.
  • Do not serve a patron previously served by a coworker without checking with the coworker first.
  • Backup and support the decisions made by staff and managers.
  • Work as a team by relating information about the customer’s drinking situation to other staff.
  • Make sure backup staff is available if needed.
  • Assist coworkers to prevent problem situations from occurring.
  • Be observant of the behaviour of patrons in your establishment.
  • Complete incident reports as needed.
  • The Manager or Owner should have a policy for reporting in place and ensure all staff members know the policy.
  • Consider the factors that affect a person’s BAC to adjust and prevent over-service.

Refusing Service (Red Zone)

Even with good prevention procedures in place, there will be times when you will have to deal with an intoxicated individual or refuse service. This can be a difficult situation, especially for new staff or with regular customers. It is important that staff and managers make plans and prepare for this situation.

Any intoxicated patron is a potential source of risk for you, the other staff, customers and the patrons themselves. Make sure you know the procedure for dealing with such a situation.

  • If you feel a customer is approaching intoxication, remember what is needed most is TIME. Employ stalling tactics. Keep in mind that you are trying to get the patron to stop drinking and accept a safe ride home. Don’t try to out argue or put down the patron, or cause any more negative feelings.
  • Alert a backup. You may need help dealing with the customer at the time, and you may need a witness later (don’t forget to note this when you complete the incident report).
  • Talk privately and directly to the customer, using his/her name (when possible) when you have to refuse further service.
  • Express regret. This is not your choice – it’s the law.
  • Explain that you are concerned for his/her safety.
  • Be courteous and avoid words that trigger emotions like ‘drunk’ or ‘loaded’ or ‘cut off’.
  • Do not argue or bargain. Use closed statements and cite a higher authority. Do not reverse your decision.
  • Listen and empathize. Acknowledge his/her anger, frustration and disappointment.
  • Remind him/her that this refusal only applies for the night and you would be happy to serve him/her at another time (provided they are not repeat problem patrons).
  • Ask for help from a friend of the customer. The customer may listen to a friend if not you.
  • Be ready to call the manager or police.
  • Ensure all other staff are notified.

If the patron is allowed to remain, all staff must be alerted and be responsible to make sure no more alcohol is served. Allowing someone else to buy for an intoxicated person is also illegal. Keep an eye on tables where a customer has been cut off. You can confiscate drinks and ask customers to leave if they are buying for someone who is intoxicated (or under age). You might also want to warn customers of their personal liability.

When you explain that a customer will not be served any more alcohol, do not allow yourself to be drawn into an argument.

Try statements like:

  • I can’t serve you another drink.
  • It’s against the law for me to serve you another drink.
  • If I serve you another drink, I’ll lose my job.
  • I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do. It’s out of my hands.

Getting Guests Home Safely

You are responsible for making sure your intoxicated customers get home safely.

You can be just as responsible for an intoxicated customer who is injured while walking home, as for one who gets into an accident while driving in an intoxicated state.

In many instances, it will not be practical to allow the patron to remain on the premises while he/she sobers up. Your only option is to get your patron home safely.

Know your house policy for taking care of impaired guests.

Offer to enlist a sober friend to drive or walk the intoxicated person home. Ask the customer for the phone number of a friend or family member who can come and pick him/her up.

Use holiday-specific or other safe-ride programs.

Call a cab to take the customer home. This could mean picking up the cab fare depending upon house policy. Arrange for safe storage of the patron’s car.
Keep a ‘safe ride home’ fund or a ‘ride jar’ where customers can leave spare change in case the customer does not have cab fare.

If the establishment is part of a hotel, arrange for a room for the guest.

Promote the use of a ‘designated driver’ program, where one member of the group abstains from drinking alcohol and agrees to drive the others home. The ‘designated driver’ program is used to support your responsible service program. Over service to patrons with a designated driver is still unacceptable.

If a guest refuses your help, make sure to note it in the incident logbook. If he/she insists on driving while impaired, call the police.

Reasonable Force

Sometimes you will have to ask an angry or violent customer to leave. The management must provide a level of safety and protection to the patrons, and the staff. It may be necessary to move the intoxicated person to another location.

If you need to remove a customer from the premises, or prevent entry of intoxicated or potentially problem patrons, make sure you only use reasonable force. Any unnecessary force, especially that which results in injury, leaves you open to liability.

Make sure you know the procedure that management wants carried out should you decide to remove a patron. It is important that you understand what to do so you can act quickly and decisively.

Remember these points:

  • Identify yourself as a person who has the authority to ask a person to leave.
  • Always ask the customer to leave.
  • Give the person reasonable time to leave.
  • If the customer does not leave at this stage, he/she may be charged with an offence.

Refusing to Leave

It is at this point that the police may be called and a charge laid. Where you cannot guarantee your safety or the safety of your customers, this may be the preferred option.

If reasonable force is necessary:

  • Be reasonable and calm.
  • Make sure the amount of force is appropriate to the situation.
  • Do not use force intended to injure. Try to hold, rather than hit.
  • Do only what is necessary to subdue a customer who is attacking you or other people.
  • Never use force to ‘teach a lesson’ or ‘send a message’.
  • Never ‘invite’ a fight, e.g. ‘Think you’re tough, let’s get it on’.
  • Make sure you follow your house policy when using force and record the incident in the logbook. You may also want to discuss this further with your local police or law enforcement detachment.

Minors and Identification

Note: Please make sure you review all sub-section to the right before proceeding to the next section.

In this section you will review:

  • Valid forms of identification
  • Checking ID
  • When to refuse service
  • Second Party Sales

Some establishments deal with the issue of underage consumers constantly. Getting into a trendy bar is a major goal for some young people. Other establishments may only deal with the problem occasionally. All licensed premises need to have clear and effective procedures to deal with underage consumers. In Newfoundland and Labrador a person must be 19 years of age to purchase and consume alcohol.

Checking ID (identification) is your first line of defence. Check the ID of anyone who looks younger than 25 or who may be a minor. Refuse service to anyone who does not produce valid proof of ID when requested.

PHOTO ID is mandatory as proof of age by virtue of The Liquor Control Act.

Acceptable ID

The following are acceptable Photo IDs:

  • Government issued photo IDs

When checking ID, make sure it has not been tampered with or altered in any way.
Ensure:

  • It is valid and not expired.
  • The picture and description on the ID match the person producing it.
  • Lamination has not been tampered with.
  • There are no bumps or irregularities which may indicate tampering.
  • The photo is genuine and has not been substituted.
  • The lettering that provides information on name and date of birth has not been altered.

Verifying ID

If you suspect a piece of ID is false or has been tampered with, ask for a second piece of ID or request that the person verify their signature.

To test the signature, have the person sign and date a piece of paper, and compare it to the ID. Also, write the person’s driver’s license number (and other ID information) on the paper and keep the sample in the logbook.

If the ID is not reasonable/believable, refuse alcohol service. If the ID is suspicious, quiz the person on the details (eye colour, height, weight, etc.)

Second Party Sales

Allowing someone else to buy for a minor is also illegal. You can confiscate purchases or refuse to sell to someone if you suspect he/she is buying for a minor. If a customer buys a drink for, or shares with a minor in an establishment where minors are allowed, you can:

  • Remind the customer of the law regarding minors and request he/she not provide the minor with alcohol.
  • Confiscate the drink.
  • Ask the party to leave.

Valid forms of identification

The following are acceptable Photo IDs:

  • Government issued photo IDs

Checking ID

When checking ID, make sure it has not been tampered with or altered in any way.
Ensure:

  • It is valid and not expired.
  • The picture and description on the ID match the person producing it.
  • Lamination has not been tampered with.
  • There are no bumps or irregularities which may indicate tampering.
  • The photo is genuine and has not been substituted.
  • The lettering that provides information on name and date of birth has not been altered.

Verifying ID

If you suspect a piece of ID is false or has been tampered with, ask for a second piece of ID or request that the person verify their signature.

To test the signature, have the person sign and date a piece of paper, and compare it to the ID. Also, write the person’s driver’s license number (and other ID information) on the paper and keep the sample in the logbook.

When to Refuse Service

If the ID is not reasonable/believable, refuse alcohol service. If the ID is suspicious, quiz the person on the details (eye colour, height, weight, etc.)

Second Party Sales

Allowing someone else to buy for a minor is also illegal. You can confiscate purchases or refuse to sell to someone if you suspect he/she is buying for a minor. If a customer buys a drink for, or shares with a minor in an establishment where minors are allowed, you can:

  • Remind the customer of the law regarding minors and request he/she not provide the minor with alcohol.
  • Confiscate the drink.
  • Ask the party to leave.

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