HOW TO Avoid Trouble with ALCOHOL

There is no doubt that sometimes alcohol and people do not mix well. Whilst it is often amusing to see men and women staggering out of nightclubs and bars trying to walk in a straight line, singing incoherently, there lies a huge problem lurking around the corner.

In the United States and Canada there has long been a legal link between persons injuring themselves (and others) as a result of having “one too many” and those who sold them the alcohol in the first place. Premium and excess for pubs and clubs in North America are now sky high for those that can still get insurance (and some cannot). The problem has now reached Australia and South Africa and it will not be long before it reaches The United Kingdom and The Republic of Ireland. (There have already been some out of court settlements).

The ONLY defence you have to such an action is to show that you took all reasonable precautions to prevent visitors to you premises, either, gaining access if they are intoxicated, drinking too much once they are in or if they become intoxicated to get them off the premises and home safely.

So what are reasonable precautions? “Reasonable” is what the judges of the land decide on any given day so that there is no definitive list. Doing nothing is certainly not reasonable but spending a little time and effort on the following pointers (most will cost you nothing financially) will go a long way to showing the courts that you take the matter in hand very seriously and you have done all that a reasonable man or woman could be expected to do.

We are committed to helping you keep your house in order and keep the lawyers at bay. If they do arrive at least with our help you have a chance.
The following pointers have been used SUCCESSFULLY in other countries to defend alcohol-related incidents.
FOR THOSE SERVING ALCOHOL

1. IF IN DOUBT ASK FOR AGE IDENTIFICTION. YOU MUST NEVER SERVICE A MINOR

2. DO NOT ALLOW ENTRY TO ANYONE WHO IS INTOXICATED. POLITELY SUGGEST THEY GO HOME. TELL THEM WHERE TO GET A CAB.

3. DO NOT ALLOW YOU STAFF TO DRINK. THEY NEED TO REMAIN SOBER AND ALERT.

4. DO NOT SERVE AYONE WHO IS CLEARLY WORSE FOR WEAR. YOU CERTAINLY MUST NOT ENCOURAGE EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.

5. STOP ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IMMEDIATELY. ENSURE THE ENVIRONMENT IS SAFE FOR EVERYONE.

6. REMAIN CALM AND COMPOSED IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS.
7. IF A GUEST DOES BECOME INTOXICATED ARRANGE FOR SAFE TRANSPORT HOME. HAVE AN ARRANGEMENT WITH A LOCAL CAB FIRM.

8. IF AN INCIDENT DOES OCCUR RECORD IT IN A LOGBOOK AND BRING IT TO THE ATTENTION OF MANAGEMENT. THE LOGBOOK NEEDS TO BE QUITE COMPREHENSIVE. “I.E. JOHN MURPHY REFUSED ALCOHOL AT 10:30PM AS HE APPEARED WORSE FOR WEAR. EJECTED BY SECURITY. POLICE CALLED WHEN SCUFFLE STARTED.” ENSURE THE PERSON ENTERING PRINTS NAME AND DATES THE ENTRY.

9. ASSIGN A MEMBER OF STAFF TO MONITOR THE PREMISES AND GUESTS.

10. ENSURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH STAFF TO DEAL WITH THE NUMBER OF GUESTS YOU HAVE. DO NOT OVERCROWN THE PREMISES

PROMOTE ALTERNATIVE BEVERAGES AND FOOD

1. SET PRICES FOR NON-ALCOHLIC DRINKS THAT ARE COMPETITIVE WITH ALCOHOLIC PRODUCT PRICES.

2. ADVERTISE AND PROMOTE NON ALCOHOLIC DRINKS ON THE DRINKS CHARTS AND MENUS.

3. STOCK AND PROMOTE LIGHT AND NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER AND WINE.

4. MAKE LIGHT AND NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER AND WINE CHEAPER THAN THE “REAL THING”.

5. DO NOT PAY STAFF BONUS’S ON HOW MUCH ALCOHOL THEY SELL. PAY THEM EXTRA TO SELL NON ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.

6. SERVE ALCOHOL FREE DRINKS IN CONTAINERS THAT ARE EASILY IDENTIFIABLE FROM THOSE THAT CONTAIN ALCOHOL.

7. PROVIDE A RANGE OF FOOD MENU SELECTIONS.

8. OFFER REDUCED PRICES FOR FOOD IN THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.

9. STOCK SNACKS AT ALL TIMES AND AVOID SELLING SALTY PRODUCTS (THEY MAKE PEOPLE THIRSTY).

10. CONSIDER A BONUS SCHEME FOR STAFF TO SELL MORE FOOD.

11. TYPE UP THE HOUSE RULES AND MAKE SURE EACH MEMBER OF STAFF SIGNS A COPY. MAKE IT CLEAR A BREACH OF HOUSE RULES IS A DISCIPLINARY OFFENCE. TRAIN YOUR STAFF AND RETAIN THEM. TRAINING SHOULD INCLUDE HOW TO SPOT INTOXICATION AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT.

Some more Tips and Hints

1. DO NOT ENCOURAGE EXCESSIVE DRINKING BY OFFERING CHEAP ALCOHOL ON CERTAIN DAYS. SPECIALS OR “HAPPY HOURS” ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE.

2. DO NOT HAVE A LAST ORDERS REGIME THAT ENCOURAGES A LAST MINUTE RUSH. DO NOT KNOWNGLY SERVE A GUEST SEVERAL DRINKS JUST BEFORE CLOSING TIME UNLESS HE CLEARLY IS BUYING FOR A GROUP.

3. AVOID SERVING DOUBLES.

4. DO NOT PROVIDE ALCOHOL AS PRIZES FOR SPECIALTY NIGHTS SUCH AS QUIZZES ETC.

5. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD COMPETITIONS INVOLVING DRINKING BE ALLOWED. THE “YARD OF ALE” COMPETITION SHOULD BE RESIGNED TO THE DUSTBIN.

6. ENCOURAGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE TO ALLOCATE A NON DRINKER. THE PERSON DESIGNATED CAN THEN SAFELY DRIVE HIS FRIENDS HOME. YOUR STAFF CAN IDENTIFY THE NON DRINKER AND ENSURE HE ONLY GETS NON ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.

7. PLACE INFORMATION LEALETS AROUND THE PRREMISES ADVERTISING CAB NUMBERS TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE NOT TO DRINK AND DRIVE.

If you would like any advice or assistance in any matter of Bar, Pub or Nightclub Insurance please call us on 0207 731 3700 or visit nightclubinsurance-uk.loc

These notes are for information only and nothing in them constitutes legal or professional advice. They should not be considered a substitute for professional advice in individual cases. Always consult an insurance professional adviser on any specific nightclub insurance or matter.