Drinking is good. Getting drunk is not good, especially when you’re feeling the effects the next day. Dealing with a drunk isn’t much fun either. Unfortunately, if you go out at night there is a good chance that you might encounter a drunk. It can happen in any type of venue, no matter how high class or low key. This doesn’t mean that your night is automatically ruined. As a nightlife native, there are a few things you can do to contend with any drunk that crosses your path or stumbles into your table.
Are You OK?
The first tip for any nightlife native is responsible indulgence. The whole point of nightlife is going out for pleasure. But if you drink so much that you pass out, you can’t successfully deal with a drunk. In fact, you become the drunk that someone else has to deal with. So the goal here is to drink, but not get drunk.
The second tip is choosing the right approach for the particular drunk that you encounter. People often identify several different types of drunks with labels that remind you of the Seven Dwarves. There are sleepy, happy, angry, flirty, loud, friendly and sad drunks. These tips don’t deal focus on those specific personality traits. Your objective is to have fun, not try to understand the drunk’s underlying emotional issues. For our purposes, there are only two types of drunks; strangers and friends.
What to Look For
No matter what type of drunk you are dealing with, you have to be able to recognize them first.
The editors at Wikihow offer the following signs that a person has had too much to drink:
● slurred speech
● inability to stand or sit up straight
● a strong desire to lie down or roll over
● stumbling or a questionable walking technique
● unusual, loud, or embarrassing behavior
● violent reactions
● bloodshot eyes
Keep in mind that a display of any single behavior does not indicate drunkenness. We all have friends who do some of these things even when they’re sober. Also, this is not an invitation to play watchdog and stick your nose in everyone’s party. Just know that a combination of these or other behaviors in your general vicinity is a clue that you might have to use your anti-drunk skills.
Do I Know You?
Dealing with Strangers: When drunken strangers rain on your parade, you’re probably not interested in taking care of them any more than you have to. While you might decide to get involved in extreme cases, your main goal is normally to remove them from your space and continue your fun.
This is more complicated than it sounds, since it is difficult to have a logical conversation with a drunk. It is usually counterproductive to argue with or try to bully someone who thinks they are stronger, faster and smarter than they really are.
There are two keys to distancing yourself from a strange drunk. First, isolate them. This could mean moving out of their general area, misleading them into leaving your space, or enlisting the drunk’s friends to collect their associate and move him for you. The second key is to notify someone who works in the venue that the drunk is wandering around, since isolation is only a temporary solution. Any drunk who leaves could easily come back.
If you are the type of person who doesn’t like to get other people into trouble by calling the bouncer, keep in mind that you are helping and not hurting the drunk in this situation. Operators often have more training and experience in dealing with drunks than you do including TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) and Nightlife Best Practices. It is actually their job, not yours, to deal with drunks in the club. Finally, if the drunk could potentially endanger themselves or someone else, then you could be preventing a problem before it happens.
Again, this is not a suggestion that antagonize everyone in the bar with aggressive attempts at drunk control. It is a concept to help you go back to your enjoying your evening with as little hassle as possible.
In part two of our drunken guide, we will tackle the delicate situation of dealing with one of your friends when they get drunk in public.