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Drink or Drunk: Why do Staff at Licensed Premises Continue to Serve Patrons to Intoxication Despite Current Laws and Interventions? Final Report

NCJ Number
D. Costello; A. J. Robertson; M. Ashe
Date Published
46 pages
This report from the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund in Australia examines why staff at licensed premises continue to serve intoxicated patrons.
This study examined why staff at licensed premises continued to serve patrons to the point of and past intoxication and found that several factors were involved in this behavior. These factors included the server's perception of confrontation with the patron, loss of gratuity for the server, and loss of revenue for the establishment. The risk of fines from serving intoxicated patrons had little impact on a server's decision to stop serving alcohol to the individual. The study also found that server interventions such as the Responsible Service of Alcohol training and proper liquor licensing and regulation, coupled with support from management and enforcement agencies, were effective at promoting responsible alcohol service at licensed premises. This study was conducted by Australia's National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund to determine what factors affected the decision by servers at licensed premises to continue to serve alcohol to patrons that were to the point of or past intoxication. Data were collected from one-on-one interviews and anonymous surveys of persons who were currently working, or had worked in the past, as a server in a licensed premise in Western Australia. The findings indicate that inability to recognize intoxication in patrons, premise management, and lack of industry knowledge and experience were reported as barriers to individuals serving alcohol responsibly. Study limitations are discussed, along with recommendations to remove barriers to serving alcohol responsibly in licensed premises. Tables, figures, references, and appendixes