Recently I had the pleasure of facilitating a Responsible Service of Alcohol course to some very experienced hospitality workers. It was an enjoyable day and the knowledge of the participants, and the fact I had worked with each and every one of them, made for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
We made our way through the content, discussing the key agencies, the impact of alcohol consumption on our community, harm minimisation, signage, the effects of alcohol and strategies to prevent underage drinking and intoxication.
For those who are not aware, the definition of intoxication for the purpose of the liquor laws is- a person is considered to be intoxicated if
- the person’s speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably affected, and
- it is reasonable, under the circumstances to believe that the affected speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is the result of the consumption of liquor
As I was reading through the list of examples of behaviour I couldn’t help but begin to smile. Belligerent, argumentative, bad tempered, loud/boisterous, exuberance, annoying/pestering others, overly friendly, all appeared to my warped sense of humour. I couldn’t help thinking that my 3 year old had displayed all of these traits in the past 24 hours. She had also displayed one of the examples of speech, not understanding normal conversation (what part of NO do you not understand? I remember saying perhaps a little on the loud side). She is also often off balance, bumping into or knocking over furniture and people. And as for coordination, I am often cleaning up after a spilt drink.
After grinning away stupidly to myself about the parallels I decided on a new mantra when deciding when to cut someone off from purchasing alcohol. “If you insist on behaving as a three year old, I insist you leave the premises”. Although this is not the statement I would make to a person I was refusing service to or evicting, it will make it a little more fun for me thinking of my personal mantra as I am doing so.