6 Ways To Prevent Alcohol-Related Incidents At Your Business
Know The Law. Most (hopefully all) know not to serve anyone under the age of 21, but your staff also need to know it’s illegal to serve anyone who “is visibly intoxicated or who a reasonable and prudent person would know is intoxicated.” (RSA 179:5) The sale of alcohol to an underage or intoxicated person is considered a Class B misdemeanor offense, with a set fine of $1200. If prohibited service causes injury to the customer, this can escalate to a Class A misdemeanor, with a fine of $2000 and up to a year in jail. Employees drinking while working is not only bad practice, but also illegal in New Hampshire.
Train Your Staff. Staff should know how to determine questionable age, ways of detecting false/altered ID's, how to recognize signs of intoxication, techniques for cutting someone off, and how to reduce the risk of civil liability. New Hampshire offers free training, online or at various locations monthly. Bookmark this link as a resource to your staff.
Check IDs Rigorously. Make it a policy to check anyone who looks under 30. According to RSA 179:8, valid forms of ID include a valid driver’s license, a DMV issued identification card, an armed services identification card, or a valid passport. Other forms of ID, such as a student ID, are easier to forge or manipulate, and should not be trusted.
Standardize Drink Recipes. Standardizing drink recipes ensures a reliable quality product for your guest, and allows them to better estimate the drink’s effect on them.
Offer Water. Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration, making guests thirsty and potentially prone to consume more alcohol than they normally would. Offering water with their drinks and refilling water glasses often can slow down a guest who’s consuming too rapidly.
Have Policies In Place. Setting a standard (and enforcing it!) is the best thing you can do to promote responsible alcohol service in your establishment. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are plenty of online resources to get you started. The NH Liquor Commission offers model house policies and policy development guidelines here.
This article was produced by the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association. Questions about best practices or compliance issues? Give us a call at (603) 228-9585 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We’re here to help.