7 Tips to Deal With Drunken Individuals

Posted: 24 Sep, 2018.

When people drink they lose the capacity to make smart decisions, think logically and are often unable to analyse information. They may become irritable, frustrated and unable to read body language. Even a friendly glance could be misread and confrontation could start.

Here’s seven suggestions on how you can stay safe when dealing with an inebriated person:

  1. Stay calm and approach them in a non-aggressive stance, open, empty hands in a friendly, non authoritative manner.
  2. Try not to tell them what to do, but offer them choices and make your movements nice and slow
  3. Be confident yet non-threatening with them and show genuine concern for their well-being.
  4. Find their sober friends; they will respond to them and they are often able to calm them down, rather than someone they do not know.
  5. Engage with them and ask them questions about themselves, if a commotion did start, keep them occupied and distracted.
  6. Minimise the risks, if your working day means that you could become involved with an inebriated person, ask your employer for staff training and practice scenarios on how to deal with aggressive or vulnerable people.


Always be prepared to leave the situation. If the intoxicated person has begun to lose control, walk away. Your personal safety is a priority. Take a positive action to remove yourself from the situation and call for support and back up. Carrying a personal safety alarm device allows you to press a button and get help subtly, without alerting the other party. When activated, trained Controllers can view your location. They’ll listen in and send for the emergency services if they feel urgent assistance is required. Secret duress code words or phrases can be chosen beforehand to indicate a problem when overheard. This can help a member of staff get fast, effective help without alerting an aggressor.

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