Celebrate Responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day through Smart Decisions

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March 15, 2022
OIU Contact: Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf (614) 644-2415
DOLC Contact: Brandon Klein (614) 359-6665

Celebrate Responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day through Smart Decisions

(Columbus, Ohio) – As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) and officials with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control (DOLC) want to make sure this is a safe holiday.

“Patron safety should always be the top priority of any liquor permit premise,” said OIU Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf. “Patron safety starts with vigilant staff.” 

Liquor permit establishments should ensure:

  • Staff is properly checking identifications to verify the customers are 21 or older, not just at the door, but at the point of sale;
  • Intoxicated patrons are not served;
  • Staff watch for anyone attempting to tamper with drinks; and
  • Staff and patrons are not bringing illegal drugs into their establishments or adjacent sidewalks and parking lots.

“St. Patrick’s Day makes for a very busy time for liquor permit establishments,” said Jim Canepa, DOLC Superintendent.  “Selling liquor responsibly is of the utmost importance, and we know liquor permit holders and staff take their responsibility seriously to follow the law to keep their customers safe.”

Keeping patrons safe and ensuring they are not overserved should not stop at St. Patrick’s Day. College basketball fans will be crowding Ohio sports bars to watch hours of tournament action.

In addition, Ohioans are encouraged to come up with a game plan for a successful night out to their favorite bars and restaurants. We encourage you to:

  • Drink plenty of water and eat food before a night out that involves drinking and
  • Use a designated driver, public transportation, taxi or a ride-share service to get home safely.

In the case that an individual has been overserved, we suggest bar staff ask themselves these questions before taking an order for the next drink:

  • Is the individual able to stand and carry on a conversation without slurring words?
  • Has the person ordered or been served multiple drinks within a small amount of time?
  • Has the person become irritable and begun causing problems?
  • Is the person having difficulty drinking beverages, resulting in spillage?

Liquor permit holders or staff who want to make sure they are educated on the most up-to-date rules and regulations on the sale and handling of alcohol should take OIU’s Alcohol Server Knowledge (ASK) program. The ASK program is available in person and online. Both are free for all participants. The online class can be found by logging onto https://learning.dps.ohio.gov/ask.

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