open text book

Preventing Intoxication

As a host, keeping your guests from drinking excessively should be your primary concern.

Here are some tips you can put into practice to make your next event a safe one:


  • Make sure you understand the Liquor Licence Act and Regulations.
  • Create and enforce house polices that promote responsible service and moderate alcohol consumption.
  • Post your Liquor Sales Licence or Special Occasion Permit.
  • Ensure that staff/volunteers serving liquor are at least 18 years.
  • Assign a trained staff member (or professional security) to monitor the door.
  • Check the identification of people you suspect are under 19 years of age.
  • Ensure the number of people on the premises is within lawful capacity.
  • Station the bar far from the door, in a spot where people aren't always passing it.
  • Serve drinks to guests rather than offering a self-serve bar.
  • Hire a professional bartender who completed the SMART SERVE program.
  • Hire a caterer with trained staff. Caterers can include both independent operators and restaurants that carry catering endorsements.
  • Provide a variety of food items because the consumption of food slows down the absorption of alcohol.
    Note: limit salty foods as they make people thirstier.
  • Close your bar well before the scheduled end of the party


  • Plan to have servers circulating around the room refilling people's glasses. People often accept drinks they don't really need.
  • Plan physical activities like swimming, skiing, snowmobiling or skating when you serve alcohol. People are more prone to accidents when they've been drinking.
  • Allow the number of guests to exceed the legal capacity of the premises.
  • Sell multiple tickets to one guest.
  • Price alcohol too low since this will encourage heavy drinking.