Minnesota statutes make it illegal to serve alcohol to clearly intoxicated individuals. The spirit behind this is to reduce the number of accidents involving drunk individuals by discouraging establishments from overserving their patrons.
In the moment, it may seem difficult to determine when to cut off a customer due to drunkenness. Knowing the signs of intoxication and what factors into it may help make that call or in a defense when facing dram shop allegations.
Signs of intoxication
There are four stages of intoxication determined by a person’s blood alcohol content:
- Mild at a BAC up to 0.05%
- Moderate at a BAC up to 0.15%
- Severe at a BAC up to 0.30%
- Life-threatening beyond 0.30%
Mild intoxication may include impairments to speech and attention. Severe intoxication significantly impacts coordination and judgment and a person may experience vomiting or blackouts.
While these guides are helpful, some people may react differently or seem in more control. People metabolize alcohol at different rates due to a number of factors like genetics, sex, alcohol tolerance and body weight. Keep an eye out for symptoms like slurred speech, slowed reflexes, and louder speech than usual when deciding whether to serve a customer or not.
Making the best call for you and your customers
It is important to remain vigilant when serving patrons alcohol. When facing allegations of illegally serving customers alcohol due to their overly intoxicated state, there are points of evidence that may help prove your position.
Knowing more about your situation with the best information and support may help better navigate these charges.