The responsible service of alcohol appears to be a bit of a grey area if one goes by the number of drunks regularly falling out of pubs. Hotel managers often blame the drunks, who they say pre-load at home or in car parks near the hotels, before having a bender at the local. That seems like a feeble excuse to me, when people who are obviously inebriated are allowed to enter licensed premises when they should be refused entry.
So is greed by pub owners, eager to keep selling drinks to drunks, one of the reasons why people often leave hotels and bars legless, and should licensees take more responsibility and ownership of the problem? Maybe the liquor licensing authorities should stamp down more vigorously on licensed premises that continue to serve alcohol to people already well under the influence.
A recent example in Fremantle, Western Australia, shows how well effective responsible service of alcohol can work. When the managers of Little Creatures Brewery and Bar realised they had a problem with people on weekends just wanting to tank themselves full with booze, they came up with a simple but splendid solution. Instead of allowing people to order at the bar, guests had to wait to be seated at tables and could only order drinks from the waiting staff. It only took a few weeks for the drunks to decide this was not the fun they were after. They stopped coming to Little Creatures and returned to the beachside town of Cottesloe, where they had been a nuisance for years, to the delight of those who love coming to the funky Fishing Boat Harbour brewery for a quiet drink and good food while watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean. Now that the baddies have left, buying a drink from the bar is possible again.
It proves that when licensees take responsibility, good solutions can be found and the problems dealt with fast. Wanting to suck more money out of already intoxicated people is not responsible behaviour and it needs to be stopped.