Any bar that serves alcohol is forced to maneuver the minefield that is “over-serving.” That is, the risks involved when selling beer, wine or liquor to an already-intoxicated customer. How intoxicated is “too” intoxicated to serve? What are the signs of being overly intoxicated, and how should bartenders and servers handle such situations?
Apparently, Lindsey Glass didn’t answer any of those questions correctly, because she was arrested and charged last week with selling alcohol to an intoxicated person in violation of part of the Texas alcoholic beverage code that prohibits “Sale to Certain Persons.” Glass, a bartender at the Local Public House in Plano, Texas, allegedly served a man drinks before he went on a shooting spree and killed eight people at a party.
Over-serving—and its potentially disastrous consequences—is one of the subjects being addressed at the EXPO’s “Training Certification Seminars,” which are designed specifically for gentlemen’s club owners and their staff.
“It is important to be able to tell the difference between someone that is getting into trouble with alcohol and someone who is just having a good time. Identifying specific behavioral cues and intoxication rate factors are some of the tricks to determining a customer’s level of intoxication. How staff members respond to these cues and factors are equally important.” – Trevor Estelle, who is providing the “Alcohol Training” Certification Seminar at EXPO
On September 10, 2017, Glass served Spencer Hight five drinks before he left the bar and shot his estranged wife and seven other people, according to the police report. Hight was served multiple times by Glass during two visits, according to the arrest affidavit. The first visit was in the early afternoon, the second visit was about four hours later. He drank two gin drinks in the afternoon and two beers and a shot in the latter visit.
“It is important to be able to tell the difference between someone that is getting into trouble with alcohol and someone who is just having a good time,” says Trevor Estelle of Health Communications Inc (providers of the TIPS Alcohol Server and Seller Training Programs), who will be presenting the “Alcohol training and prevention of over-serving” training certification seminar at this year’s EXPO. “You need to be able to assess the entire customer. Identifying specific behavioral cues and intoxication rate factors are some of the tricks to determining a customer’s level of intoxication. How staff members respond to these cues and factors are equally important. This seminar will include a series of intervention guidelines staff members can use when handling difficult situations.”
While there’s no mention of whether or not the actual bar (Local Public House in Plano) will be the subject of civil litigation, clubs that are guilty of over-serving are always at risk of being sued—or worse.
“Being properly trained can help in litigation,” says Estelle. “This seminar will touch on how servers can make reasonable efforts to protect themselves and the club. Yes, we will highlight a few cases to demonstrate the frequency of liquor liability lawsuits.”
The 2019 Gentlemen’s Club EXPO is scheduled for August 11-14 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The Alcohol Training Certification Seminar will be held from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on Monday, August 12th. For more information on EXPO, go to the official website and take advantage of the early registration rate before it expires on May 30th!