Legal top tips: getting into the Christmas spirit

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Good advice: ensuring all staff are fully trained is key to a safe festive period
Good advice: ensuring all staff are fully trained is key to a safe festive period
Christmas is just around the corner and while you may be looking forward to taking advantage of the increase in trade, it is important to ensure your customers do
not get carried away with the Christmas ‘spirit’ and over indulge by having one too many drinks.

It is an offence to knowingly sell or attempt to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk, or to knowingly allow alcohol to be sold to such a person.

While this is not an exhaustive list, below are some measures you can put in place to avoid serving or admitting someone to your premises who may be drunk. 

The key here is to ensure that all of your staff, including bar staff and door supervisors are trained to:

  • Spot the signs of someone who is drunk and trying to enter your premises or are trying to be served with more alcohol – the signs could include slurred speech, glazed eyes or being unsteady on their feet
  • Refuse entry and/or service to anyone who appears to be drunk – it can be difficult to tell if someone is drunk, particularly when you are busy or when someone has drunk large amounts quickly before entering your premises. Staff up and/or if in doubt, refuse entry/service
  • Have knowledge of the ABVs and alcohol units for all drinks that are for sale in your premises
  • Monitor customers who have already been admitted or been served in the premises to ensure that they have not become drunk and should be refused further service
  • Know that they should not allow another customer to purchase alcohol for someone else who is drunk (this is a separate offence) – if they suspect someone is doing this then they should refuse that person service
  • Not encourage customers to drink large quantities of alcohol, for example, through drinks promotions, and are aware of the mandatory conditions in respect of both this and the availability of certain measures for beer, certain spirits and wine
  • Encourage customers in your premises to drink water and eat food – it may be beneficial to extend the hours for the availability of food so that people can order until the end of service of alcohol.

Related topics: Licensing law

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