Understanding Intoxication Guidelines for RSA in Australia

Understanding Intoxication Guidelines for RSA in Australia

Recognising and managing intoxication is a critical aspect of the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) in Australia. Knowing how to identify intoxicated patrons ensures the safety and well-being of all customers and staff. Here, we outline the steps to determine if a person is intoxicated and the considerations to make before refusing service.

How to Decide if a Person is Intoxicated

Determining whether a person is intoxicated involves a two-step process: observing signs of intoxication and confirming that these signs are due to alcohol consumption.

Step 1: Identifying Signs of Intoxication

When assessing a patron's level of intoxication, look for one or more of the following signs:

  • Becoming loud and boisterous: Speaking more loudly than usual and becoming overly animated.
  • Having difficulty walking straight: An unsteady gait, with stumbling or swaying.
  • Becoming argumentative: Increased confrontational behaviour or agitation.
  • Bumping into furniture or customers: Coordination issues causing accidental collisions.
  • Annoying other customers and staff: Disruptive or irritating behaviour.
  • Rambling in conversation: Difficulty staying on topic, with disjointed or incoherent speech.
  • Using offensive language: Increased use of profanity or inappropriate comments.
  • Losing train of thought: Struggling to follow a conversation or frequently forgetting points.
  • Spilling drinks: Poor motor skills leading to accidental spills.
  • Having difficulty paying attention: Appearing distracted or having trouble focusing.
  • Fumbling and difficulty picking up objects: Coordination issues making simple tasks challenging.
  • Not hearing or understanding what is being said: Trouble processing and responding to information.
  • Swaying: Visible swaying or rocking while standing or sitting.
  • Appearing drowsy or dozing while sitting: Alcohol-induced drowsiness causing lethargy or nodding off.

Step 2: Confirming Alcohol Consumption

Once you have identified signs of intoxication, confirm whether these signs are due to alcohol consumption by considering:

  • Amount of alcohol consumed: Observing how much alcohol the person has been seen drinking.
  • Reports from other staff members: Checking with colleagues about their observations.
  • The smell of alcohol: Noticing the presence of an alcohol odour.

Conditions that Show Similar Signs to Intoxication

Certain physical and mental disabilities can cause symptoms resembling intoxication. Conditions such as neurological disorders, diabetes, or mental health issues may lead to similar behaviours. Before refusing service, consider the possibility that the customer might have a medical condition rather than being intoxicated.

Considerations for Staff

  • Training and Awareness: Ensure all staff members are trained to identify signs of intoxication and consider medical conditions.
  • Communication: Foster open communication among staff to share observations and concerns about patrons.
  • Empathy and Respect: Approach customers with empathy and respect, especially when considering the possibility of a medical condition.
Intoxication Guidelines

Understanding Intoxication Guidelines for RSA in Australia

Understanding and implementing intoxication guidelines is crucial for maintaining a safe and responsible environment in hospitality settings. By following the two-step process of identifying signs of intoxication and confirming alcohol consumption, and by considering medical conditions that may mimic intoxication, you can make informed decisions that protect both patrons and staff.

For more detailed training and guidelines, CFT International provides comprehensive RSA training to ensure responsible alcohol service in Australia. Download our Intoxication Guidelines poster here .

Chat to an advisor

Chat to one of our trainers

Our team are here to help with your questions