St. Patrick's Day Alcohol Safety

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, we’ve got the info you need to know about alcohol licensing, serving, and safety. Whether you’ll be serving or celebrating, make sure you’re prepared for the holiday with these tips from our alcohol safety courses!


Serving Alcohol?

If you’ll be waiting tables or tending the bar, here are a few quick things you should know:

  1. The differences between Bar, Premium, and Top Shelf brands

    • Bar: brand of liquor the establishment has decided to use as its base liquor of choice for all their cocktails and highballs
    • Premium: brands of various liquors the establishment has decided to have available for their guests that aren’t used as the bar brand
    • Top Shelf: Products that are generally much more expensive than Bar and Premium brand liquors
  2. How to recognize intoxicated patrons and respond appropriately
    • Loss of inhibitions/judgement, slowed reaction time, poor coordination
    • Serve water and/or coffee—if the patron is clearly intoxicated, cut them off and do not serve them any more alcohol
    • Do not be confrontational; clearly state that no more alcohol will be served, and let your coworkers know you’ve cut the patron off
  3. Check your local and state laws regarding serving/selling alcohol
    • Build good professional relationships with local law enforcement and alcohol control agencies; they can help you understand state provisions impacting alcohol sales and are knowledgeable about any specialized local regulations that might affect your work
    • Negligence: Negligence laws set a standard for what a reasonable person should do to prevent any type of harm from developing
    • Dram Shop: Laws that hold alcohol sellers responsible for harm that intoxicated or underage patrons cause to other people (or, in some cases, to themselves)

Drinking Alcohol?

Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re out enjoying the St. Patty’s festivities:

  1. NEVER drink and drive!

    • Always use a designated driver, take public transit, or call a cab
    • Know how to calculate your BAC and stay under the legal limit
  2. Know your body
    • Women tend to get drunk faster than men (they are often smaller and have higher body fat, and therefore have less water in their bodies to dilute alcohol)
    • While eating before you drink will slow down intoxication, it will NOT stop you from getting drunk!
    • Only time can sober you up. Sorry, coffee addicts—caffeine doesn’t make you any less intoxicated
  3. Decide in advance how much you will drink
    • Make a plan for your weekend and stick to it
    • Keep track of how much you’ve had to drink—and over what length of time
    • Drink other fluids in between your alcoholic drinks
    • Be aware of the size of your drink! You may actually be having two

And of course, when you return to work on Monday, you may want to brush up on your company’s drug and alcohol policy and make sure you comply if your company is drug and alcohol free!

No matter how you choose to celebrate this weekend (I will be running the Portland Shamrock Run 8K!), stay safe and have fun!