Safety During Holidays

Drink, but don’t drive

During the holiday season, roads in and around Johannesburg become killing fields, with an abnormally high number of fatalities. Sadly, many of these accidents are due to holidaymakers who drink and drive.

As a tavern owner, what can you do to minimise fatalities on our roads? Here are a few points you can use to ensure patron safety. 

Prevent underage drinking

During the holiday season, roads in and around Johannesburg become killing fields, with an abnormally high number of fatalities.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to determine someone’s age, so ensure your staff consistently check IDs if they are in doubt of a patron’s age.
  • Use clear signs to communicate that customers who look underage will (politely) be asked to produce their ID.
  • Your customers must know that a refusal to show their ID will result in them not being served. As a business owner, support your staff so they feel confident and safe enough to refuse a customer service, should it be required. Always have security on hand in case those who are refused service get violent.

Stay vigilant

Keep a watch to notice when someone has had one too many drinks. Some of the easy signs to look out for:


  • slurred speech
  • red glassy eyes that are half-closed or struggling to stay open
  • unable to balance, and unstable when walking
  • increased volume when speaking
  • confusion and an inability to understand a situation.

 Educate your staff

  • Every time your staff serves someone a drink, they should observe to see how sober they are before handing over another drink. They can do this by talking to the customers to see if they are lucid and still in control.
  • If a patron is too drunk to drive, offer alternatives. They can call an Uber or you could request the local police to escort them.
  • Ensure all areas of your establishment are well lit, to make sure no one is taking part in any illegal activities. Your security staff should be on constant patrol.

At the end of the day, your patrons are your responsibility when they are on your premises. To ensure you maintain your reputation as a responsible tavern owner, encourage your staff to take responsibility and control. They need to be able to uphold any liquor laws in place and ensure everyone else does the same. By doing this, not only are they increasing the value of your business and protecting your liquor licence, they may also be saving lives on the roads. This can only be a good thing!